Monday, February 18, 2008

Tony Diano Truck on Cristiani Bros. 1956


Anonymous said...

Can we get some information on Mr. Diano? I know he had a 5 act with Big Tommy, but that's all in know.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous....Tony Diano was a businessman in Canton, Ohio and owned a farm known as the Diamond O Ranch. There was a dairy farm on the farm. in the 1930's he began to accumulate animals some of which were a herd of buffalo, a camel, a polar bear, hyena, cheetah, hippo, small monkeys, elephants and even a giraffe.

Diano constructed a ring barn, a bull barn and barns to hold wagons and trucks and came a circus quarters .

He leased out animals to different carnivals and circuses and motion pictures. Diano and Ben Davenport combined their show properties in 1953 into Diano Bros. Circus, but it did not last out the season.

In 1954-55 some of Diano's animals were on World of Mirth Shows, a railroad carnival and his stock car was used on that show. In 1958-60 these animals were on Cristiani Bros. Circus. In 1961 they were on Ringling International on a South American tour. At other times some of the animals were on King Bros. (Benny Cristiani Unit) and other shows.

For a number of years Tony Diano has had one of the great herds of elephants, He had Asian females and male tuskers and Africans.

The herd consisted of Katie, followed by young Tusko, a male tusker and Betty an Asian female both of whom came from Bronx Zoo. Then came Calcutta and Mysore from Hamid-Morton Circus and the two Africans, Mackatella and Gandy from Carl Hartley in Africa. Lastly was Tommy the big male tusker. Tommy was imported and trained about 1947 with a bunch of other punks for the Dailey Bros. Circus. After the close of the Dailey Show, Tommy was on Campa Bros, and in 1952 was on Wallace Bros. He came to the Diano quarters about 1954. Tony sole Tommy to the Felds with some other elephants and Tommy became "King Tusk', "the largest elephant traveling the earth". That phrase came after the Woodland Park Zoo claimed they had a larger elephant and threatened a lawsuit, thus the "traveling the earth" came about.

See Homer C. Walton's article in Bandwagon, Vol. 6, No. 3 (May-Jun), 1962, pp. 16-11.

Anonymous said...

Engineergal - I met Mr. Diano back in the late 1940's when I worked with Silver Bill Voges in Ohio. Mr. Voges, who had toured with Hollywood Horses and retired, had decided to go back on the road. I worked with his horses for several months until a fire destroyed most of the tack and equipment and cancelled his plans to leave retirement.
Mr.Diano's place was not too far from Mr. Voges' Linden Valley Ranch, and I met him several times when he came to Linden Valley Ranch.

DanKoehl said...

Thanks for the info on the elephants, I have 16 listed for Diano, but guess they may be more