Thursday, October 06, 2005

Adam Forepaugh & Sells Bros. Circus 1904

This is a better look at "Mike" and "Topsy" in a corral menagerie. You can see the martingale on his tusks and the network of hobbles and cross hobbles.The leather straps are unique. He was probably bulling at this time and no doubt a real hand full.
John Patterson was in charge of the elephants by then and when this show was taken off the road after the 1907 season the Ringlings appointed him Menagerie Supt. with Barnum & Bailey and he held that post with RBBB thru 1925.
His last job with these two elephants was to deliver them to the B&B quarters in Bridgeport where the Ringlings planned to feature him in 1908 but unfortunately shortly after arrival a flash fire in the bull car took his life however the other elephants escaped injury.
It is reported that just prior to this Tammen and Bonfils (Sells-Floto Circus) had offered $10,000 for him.


Anonymous said...

There were sure more African elephants in the circus in the old days. Amy is actually the last one I saw perform. Did the people handleing them change. The three at that place in Tenn don't seem able to control the ones there. But then again they use the excuse that they don't want to CONTRL elephants. A desaster waiting to happen. Like my spelling

Anonymous said...

Mike died as a result of a fire that statared in the straw, in the boxcar in which he was traveling near Bridgeport,CT .
Whatever became of Topsy?

Buckles said...

I have a picture of "Topsy" with Barnum & Bailey in 1910 but no further record.

Anonymous said...

There was a elephant by the name of"Topsy" at the Central Park Zoo
during the early 20th Century.
(which sounds like CPZ was a repository for Barnum's elephant's back then)
However no mention if it was a female African elephant.

Anonymous said...

Actually there were less African elephants in the circus's and zoo's back then.
Back in ca.1920
when the big African male
"Khartoum" and the female African"Sultana'
were at the Bronx zoo in New York City,reportly they were the only African elephants within a thousand miles.