Saturday, July 15, 2017

#6 Equestrians

Poodles Hanneford.

7 comments:

Robert Good said...

Yes, Poodles and Aunt Gracie Hanneford.

Bob Good

Roger Smith said...

These are the whips artists use for the accuracy acts--cutting cigarettes in the girl's mouth, splitting playing cards, slicing rolled-up newsprint, etc. The short stock provides for good aim for the path of the lash and the telling placement of the popper. The sharp crack of the whip, which is the breaking of the sound barrier, is still there for the audience, but the report is at a lower level. The cat trainer's whip is not practical for accuracy work. It is traditionally a flat-plaited lash on a 3-foot twisted whipstock, which propels the crack higher into the air, allowing the sound to better assimilate in the Big Top. Over time, twisted stocks became hard to get, and trainers fashioned whips personalized to their liking. But the cowboy whip acts seek the style seen here, sometimes called Australian stock whips.

Robert Good said...


The Unbelievable Cordons, Wizards With The Whip. I am sure some remember this act on Ringling and the blowoff trick with the girl wearing more or less a bikini. Pretty hot for that time.

Bobby Fairchild was another master of the whip and Sonia sure helped to sell it.

Thanks for the info Roger. Think my Dad said Clyde used to make his own poppers. You probably know about that.

Bob Good

Chic Silber said...


Red Hartman braided Beatty's poppers

He taught me the basics & about flax

which is linen thread & real beeswax

I have provided whips to many Broadway

productions & have taught quite a few

actors & dancers stage whip technique

The whips stay as part of my rental

effects equipment & I supply the hand

braided poppers each week as needed

I currently have a large whip supply

Commercial nylon poppers are terrible

Robert Good said...

When I first hung around the Beatty show Red was not Clyde's cage boy, Junior was. There was another guy after that who was there a short time and then Red came on the scene. So, it could well be Clyde made poppers. My Dad and Clyde were buddies from the twenties on so a lot went down through all those years.

I also remember Roger being with Clyde and eating at our house. Wow, that is a long time back! Lighthouse Field in Philly was a favorite place to see the show as you also had a carnival set up and some good food joints.

Roger Smith said...

BOB GOOD: Red Gates, later of concession renown, was a Beatty gun boy for a time. Just before Red was Randy Platt, of whom 2 photos are known to exist. He is named in the 1960 Route Book, but after he left, no one I've asked knows what became of him.

When we came to the Good home, we had played Allentown, PA, in '64, for a Sunday matinee-only. Mrs. Good set the most elegant table one could sit down to. Mr. Beatty was already stricken with his cancer, but there had yet to be a diagnosis. Trying to swallow food by then was burning him up, and he was unable to eat. His energy was draining by the day, and Bob Good, Sr., had arranged for a doctor to be there to give Beatty a shot of B-12, in hopes of helping him, as he put it, "get back the old pep." He left the show in Rochester, Minnesota and had his first cancer surgery in Billings Hospital, in Chicago. He did not return to the show that season.

CHIC: Right--Beatty's poppers were woven from Barbour's No. 10 Shoe Thread, a flax, which came in 2-oz skeins, in little round boxes. I still have mine. The beeswax was melted and blended with rock rosin, then allowed to harden into cakes, which we'd cut into manageable chunks for stropping the finished popper. I wrote a how-to article detailing popper-making for Cherie Valentine's late BACK YARD magazine. Beatty showed me how to make them. He could roll up a 16" popper in 90 seconds, and I never beat his time. Beatty also cut the flat lashes for his whips, and made up 3 or 4 of them during his winters at home, in Ventura. To go with my popper article, I wrote instructions for making these specialized lashes of long tradition.

And you're right, again: Those nylon poppers in the tack shops are total crap.

Chic Silber said...


I was able to find large spools of

that thread from a show machinery

company in New Hampshire wher I get

a rosin based hot glue from Roger

I have a spool here in my shop &

also 1 in my NY office work area

I found a local beekeeper years

ago who supplies me with the wax

unadulterated & easy to combine