Thursday, July 12, 2007

Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth #10

Scan10068, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


Anonymous said...

Buckles, would you know what elephant that is in the lead with the red howdah ?
she looks incredibly thick !

Buckles said...

I believe this is fabled "Babe", that gave birth to "Columbia" 3/10/80 while with the Cooper & Bailey Circus. The first elephant born in America

Anonymous said...

Richard Reynolds clarifies - -

No, the first elephant birth was on the Howe's Great London show at St.Joseph, MO on May 31, 1876. They had to stop the train to unload the mother who had gone into labor.

Henry Barnum, one of the owners, had the calf named "Joe" in honor of the town. This calf does not seem to have survived for more than a few days but the blessed event did happen.

The birth was to the same group that produced the 1880 calf. They had been imported from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) back in 1871. Hence, there was plenty of time to allow for the required 21 months gestation period. Hence the calf was bred in the USA - -as opposed to being born to a female gravid when imported.

Anonymous said...

Richard Reynolds says, oops - -

Joe was born on Monday,May 31, 1875 - -not 1876 per my earlier message.

The female went into labor as the Howe's Great London train was en route from Omaha (played on Sat 29th) to Kansas City for an engagement on Monday (31).

When the train got to St Joseph they decided to unload her. She was moved to the Exposition Grounds where the birth took place on Monday (31).

The show was back in St. Joseph for a date on June 3.

The calf does not seem to have lived to be exhibited by the circus on show day. However, a lot of townspeople had gone to the Exhibition Grounds to see the mother and baby on June 1.

Bill Slout gave all the details about this in his fine 2000 book, "A Royal Coupling, The Historic Marriage of Barnum & BAiley."