Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fred Alispaw #1

Scan10631, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.

As near as I can determine Fred Alispaw spent his entire career with Sells-Floto starting out as a menagerie hand with the Otto Floto Dog & Pony Show.
He took over the elephant herd from the original trainer Christian Zeitz in 1909 and remained in charge thru 1917.
This is the first time I have shown this full set of the elephant act while being photographed in the back yard in 1912.
Elephants are "Mary", "Snyder", "Trilby", "Alice", "Frieda" and "Floto".

Letter from Bill Woodcock to Otto Scheiman from the Cole Show quarters in Louisville 1/18/45.
"I never met Shorty Alispaw but I have trouped with a lot of old timers who were with him on S-F and I gather he was a mediocre elephant man like the writer.
He was definately not in the class with Arky, Walter McLain, Bill Emery, Cheerful Gardner et. al.
Seems to have been a farmer and his chief interest in life was to get enough dough together to buy a farm and get out of show business."