Monday, October 31, 2011

From Don Curtis #10

TO BE CONTINUED!Posted by Picasa

To Robert Perry

Mr. Woodcock, I would like to contact Mr Perry, to help verify the arrival of one of my elephants that I believe is approximately 60 years of age. Her name is Arna. She was formerly with the Stardust circus. I'm sure he will know of her. Any help would be appreciated. I hope you and your family are in good health. Thanks in advance. Regards Glenn SullivanSenior keeper, Elephants Taronga Western Plains zoo Dubbo, NSW Australia, 2830

Mr. Sullivan at right.Posted by Picasa

From Dick Sheridan

From Chris Berry #1

From Chris Berry #2

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From Buckles

Jean Allen, don't you think?Posted by Picasa

Beech-Nut Circus #1 (From Eric Beheim)

In the 1930s, the Beech-Nut Company used a traveling model circus to promote its line of candy and gum. Here is how it was described in a 1936 ad: “Complete in every detail from clowns to calliope! Wild animals, performing elephants, acrobats, aerial artists, musicians, prancing horses, all in the gayest of circus trappings! New! Different! A unique combination of artistry and mechanical ingenuity! Everything in motion, electrically operated! Children love it – and so do adults – they stand for long periods gazing at this remarkable circus and the parade of majestic floats which go round and round its three rings. When the Beech-Nut Circus visits your city, be sure to see it. We believe you will enjoy it almost as much as you do the fine flavor and quality of BEECH-NUT GUM and CANDY.”Posted by Picasa

Beech-Nut Circus #2

Beech-Nut Circus #3

Beech-Nut Circus #4

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Beech-Nut Circus #5

Beech-Nut Circus #6

In 1939-40, an enlarged version of the Beech-Nut Circus played an extended engagement at the New York World’s Fair. Billed as the “Biggest Little Show on Earth,” this World’s Fair edition featured more than 500 animated acrobats, aerialists, animals and clowns. (This and the following images are all taken from frame captures from amateur movie footage showing the figures in motion.)

Today, Beech-Nut is primarily known for its line of bottled baby food. Does anyone know what became of all these animated animals, floats, performers, etc. that remained after these units went off the road?
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Beech-Nut Circus #7

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Beech-Nut Circus #8

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Beech-Nut Circus #9

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Digney Pictures #1

Irvin Feld, 1973, Denver Post; years earlier eye surgery seriously damaged Irvin's sight and eliminated his peripheral vision. as a result, he wore glasses as thick as the bottom of coke bottles (seen here); later he was able to wear more stylish less cumbersome-looking specs which created big problems when photographed.
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Digney Pictures #2

RBBB Midway, May, 1950, Baltimore--perhaps between shows? old style side show front on right was replaced by the more flashy Ballantine design shortly after.
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Digney Pictures #3

RBBB, 1950, "Ruth," doing a headstand on the very tall bull tub used for the Scottish-themed elephant number (started under Robert Ringling in the late 1940s and encored several seasons?) that culminated with long mount on front track with center elephant standing on this tub. (note newspaper editor's crop marks)
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Digney Pictures #4

Digney Pictures #5

Digney Pictures #6

RBBB- Chicago 1987, Scott Harper- Elephant HandlerPosted by Picasa

Digney Pictures #7

RBBB, St. Pete, 1966; nice shot but for some reason angle makes the show look small.
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Digney Pictures #8

RBBB winter quarters, Sarasota, 1958; wire service photo titled "Gone to seed." Show moved to Venice in 1959 and Sarasota quarters was pretty much abandoned.

"The lower picture shows the back side of the big elephant barn (or Kraal). In 1957 an old canvas wagon had been revamped into a manure disposal unit with a sliding partition and was spotted by the center door. Once filled, "Topsy" would take it out back into the hinterlands, where a likely spot was selected, she was then moved around to the rear of the wagon and re-hooked to a cable that would slide the partition forward emptying the contents. Quite scientific."

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Digney Pictures #9

RBBB, Chicago, 1971, Frosty Little and Art Ricker. Art was one of the handful of Sr. promoters trained by Allen Bloom--now runs a B&B with his wife in Williamsburg, VA. I bought a slew of negatives from a press photographer in Chicago who covered the circus there for years, this is one of many.
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Digney Pictures #10

Frankie Saluto, his trademark rabbit and Art, Chicago 1971--love Art's pants--very 70s! Building would have been the old Amphitheatre near the stockyards.
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