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Message Archive: Messages 1901 - 1950


1950. Bertie Cole, drummer boy, 25 Jun 2007 - Recently I acquired a number of circus and carnival items from in an estate sale. One of the items is an autograph book kept by one Bertie Cole. The book is filled with autographs from all sorts of people in various locations. Most of the people who wrote the autographs were with the F. A. Robbins Show. All dates fall between 1885 and 1887. On one page Bertie Cole is called the "drummer boy". Drummer had several meanings back in those days. Did he play in the band? Did he sell items on the midway? If anyone has any information that could sort this out I would appreciate it. It is an interesting bit of history, needless to say as most of the autographs were probably people who worked in the show. Ed Gaida ganoso78164@yahoo.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 26 Jun 2007 - Bert Cole's father was the press agent on the Frank A. Robbins show for the years you state. His son Bert (born in 1869) was the mailman on the show. He might have played the drums, perhaps in the parade where performers who were able to play an instrument would augment one of the several musical units that might play atop a wagon during parade (but not in the main performance which was usually composed only of full-time professional musicians on the larger shows). Cole went on to become well-recognized in the circus business as a banner salesman — selling ad space to local merchants on signs draped over the elephants in parade or hung in the big top. I also recall having seen pictures of young Cole with a real drum (many Bert Cole items have been dispersed on the internet during the last two years). Drummer refers to a traveling salesman, generally selling wholesale to other merchants, so whether young Cole was playing the instrument, or selling banners at a time earlier than we have suspected this practice to have first occurred, or was an eager young fellow selling useful articles to showpeople, or whether the term was one that historian's have not encountered being applied to circus vendors, we can only guess. – Richard Flint, Baltimore

    Reply: 27 Jun 2007 - A youthful Albert H. "Bert" Cole played the bass drum and an even younger Charlie Sparks worked the snare drum under big show bandleader Billie Hogue on Walter L. Main in 1888. Their work together in the show band led to a close, life-long friendship. A precocious Harry James also played the snare drum with the Mighty Haag when less than ten years of age, maybe about six to eight.
    One can see banners on the Adam Forepaugh elephants in 1888, when Bert was still drumming in the band. There may be earlier examples. You can see Great Wallace banners on animals in parade in 1890 and 1898 [Pabst Brewing, in one instance], and he even had some on camels or dromedaries. Fred Dahlinger

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1949. A. I. G. Barnes, 25 Jun 2007 - I have just come across a 1929 autograph of Mr. A. I. G. Barnes along with autographs of several of his performers. Can you tell me anything about Mr. Barnes and the AI. G. Circus? Thank you. Sincerely, Christophe Stickel, Pacific Grove, www.stickelautographs.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 26 Jun 2007 - First, the name was Al G. Barnes, not A.I.G, though his real full name was Alpheus George Barnes Stonehouse. Barnes (1862-1931) operated a major railroad circus that was well-known for its trained animals and toured from about 1906 through 1938. Barnes sold his show in January 1929 to the American Circus Corporation which, in turn, was sold to John Ringling later that same year. Dave Robeson wrote down the showman's anecdotal memoirs in the posthumously published book "Al G. Barnes, Master Showman" (1935). However, for a very thorough history of this circus, year-by-year, see the series of articles by Chang Reynolds that appeared in the 1980s in Bandwagon, the journal of the Circus Historical Society, by clicking on the Bandwagon link toward the top left side of this message board – Richard Flint, Baltimore

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1948. Ringmaster, 23 Jun 2007 - I am a ring master for large horse shows. I wear the top hat, red coat with gold braid, riding pants and boots. The outfit is a copy of the guards uniform that were worn on the mail and privately owned coaches in Europe in the 1800s. The circus ring master's uniform is similar and I was wondering what the history was. If there is any information you could suggest I would be deeply grateful. I have found nothing reveling the history of the horse show ring master. I do have a theory but no concrete data. Maybe you could help. Thank you, Grace M. Yaglou, Barre, MA. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 27 Jun 2007 - The "ringmaster," as the position is known today, evolved through time. Originally the "master of the ring" paced the horses in the ring, for the riding acts. There was also an "equestrian director," who determined the start and finish point of acts, first by bell, later by whistle. There was also a leather-lunged announcer, who used their voice and a "mouth trumpet" to announce acts within the big top. One can see examples of the master of the ring sort of person in formal attire [not always red jackets, but black] by the 1880s-1890s [lithographs, photo of R. H. Dockrill, etc.].
          The evolution of the circus and the advance of technology, especially the advent of sound amplification systems, caused changes. The conversion starts about 1929 with canned music. Another person, part of the act, paced the horses for riding purposes. The "ringmaster" was no longer in the ring and becomes more of an announcer, which is later augmented with singing [soloists, instrumental or voice, accompanying the big show band date back to at least the early 1900s]. The revised position employing more vocalization was facilitated by the amplifier system and loudspeakers.
          The equestrian director, as exemplified by Fred Bradna, sometimes wore formal attire similar to what you describe, but not all of them did. Some, like John Agee, went with military-styled wardrobe. Bradna abhorred being termed a "ringmaster," which was a role of lesser responsibility. Speaight's book (page 98) mentions the introduction, or revival in 1921 by Bertram Mills of the formal style, but in a privately-circulated list of corrections he noted that the date was 1923 and the jacket was "hunting pink."
          I'd recommend that you buy or borrow via interlibrary loan copies of Antony Hippisley-Coxe's book "Seat at the Circus," Stuart Thayer's "The Performers, A History of Circus Acts," Fred Bradna's book "The Big Top," and some other titles to learn more background on the position.
          Whether adoption of the wardrobe has anything to do with the implementation of hurdle riding, the hippodrome track, etc., remains to be analyzed. An exacting study of the textual and visual materials has not yet been made.
          There is a ringmaster chronological listing on a major circus website, but it presents a very misleading perspective of the position and the people that filled the role before the 1950s. Fred Dahlinger

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1947. Stirk family, 23 Jun 2007 - I am looking for three circus posters of the Stirk family. To my understanding, the Stirk family was a bicycle act in the Great Wallace shows. The posters would have been from around 1902 (probably a little earlier) and were the subject of the case Bleistein vs. Donaldson Lithographing Co. A description of the three posters:

A picture of Wallace rests in the corner of all three with the title “The Great Wallace Shows: Colossal 3 Ring Circus, 2 Elevated Stages.

1. Christopher Columbus (?) holding a flag. He is surrounded by several Native Americans.
2. The Stirk family riding bicycles with a woman in the middle holding a banner that says “Stirk Family.”
3. About 20 ballerinas dancing where short dresses and arms raised

I cannot seem to find the posters anywhere and am hoping that someone here knows their whereabouts. Best, Megan Wren. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 25 Jun 2007 - Some years ago in completing my thesis on the show printer (those printers who specialized in catering to circus and theatrical troupes) I dealt with the landmark case you refer to, one that established the copyrightability of commercial artwork in a famous decision written by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. The Library of Congress still retains the original three posters printed by the Courier Co. of Buffalo, NY, of which Bleistein was president (hence, his name in the title of the court's decision). Only one poster was for the Stirk family bicycle act and that was reproduced and discussed in my article appearing in the Summer 1983 issue of The Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress, page 222. Your best hope might be that a lower court or the attorneys kept the evidence. I, too, have long looked for the infringing Donaldson posters but the reality is that few circus posters survive given the many produced. An abundance of Strobridge posters survive, however, because they kept huge numbers of extra samples from a certain point onward and that collection survived into the 1950s when collectors began to seek them out. Unfortunately, not so for the other show printers including Donaldson. - Richard Flint, Baltimore

    Reply: 05 Jan 2009 - Do you have history of any Anselmo and Andres Stirk. Anselmo Stirk was my greatgrandfather and don't know much about him. I was told that he worked on a circus. If any information please reply. Sincerly, Elvia

    Reply: 01 Mar 2010 - I would like any information on the Stirk Family, My grandfather was a Stirk and I was told he was in a circus. Juan.

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1946. Charles Soley, dwarf, 23 Jun 2007 - I am looking for a distant cousin who was a dwarf in Canadian Circus 1900 sometime. His name was Charles Soley. He was 3' 6" tall, brown hair, blue eyes. Does anyone know of him? Or have pictures? Email dporraro@verizon.net, Dana Porraro, Mahwah NJ. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1945. Tranquilina Cortez, 23 Jun 2007 - I am hoping that someone may be able to help me find any information about my husbands grandparents. They came to Australia in the early 1900s with Barnam and Bailey and Ringling Brothers Circus World Tour. My husbands grandfather was Tranquilina Cortez the chief catcher for the flying Cordobas I am just guessing on the spelling. His Grandmother Martina was the tight rope walker adopted by the circus family. As the story goes when the Circus was on a world tour it spent some time in Australia. As she was much younger than him they were not allowed to be together but when the ship they were traveling on stopped in Tasmania they jumped ship and married. They then came to Melbourne and raised a large family. As my husbands Mother died before I met him I am unable to obtain much information but feel that my children should know where their great grandparents came from. I would appreciate any information before it is lost to the family forever. Thanking you in anticipation, Suzanne Brett. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1944. Menagerie 1834, 21 Jun 2007 - I am looking for any information regarding a menagerie that passed through Galt, Ontario on July 28th, 1834. One of the showmen brought Cholera to the small town and I would like to find out which troupe it was. kwilli63@uwo.ca if you have any clues. Thanks! Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 02 Jul 2007 - KWILLI 63 - I believe your referring to the Burgess Menagerie that toured Ontario in 1834. Its prize possession was the elephant Timour, renamed Hannibal when the show was taken over by James Raymond. It could have been one of Raymond's leased properties. Stuart Thayer.

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1943. Sells Bros., 21 Jun 2007 - I’m doing some research on Sells Brothers Circus, and I wondered why Louis Cooke’s articles don’t seem to specify any dates for the events he talks about. For instance, in his article that’s dated August 5 (http://www.circushistory.org/Cooke/Cooke10.htm), Cooke talks about an advertising “war” between James A. Bailey and Sells Brothers Circus, yet the author doesn’t mention which season or year this took place. Do you happen to know what year this took place? I also wondered if anybody has information about regarding the noncompete agreements between Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey. Thanks, in advance. Michele Collins. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 25 Jun 2007 - First, it is the historian who desires exact dates but for Cooke, it may have been the story that was more important. In addition, when written, Cooke and many of his readers might have remembered that it was, in a sense, only a few years ago and unimportant to note more precisely.
    The opposition between Barnum & Bailey and the Sells Bros. occurred in 1891-1892. It probably began when the Bailey owned Forepaugh show early on contracted for advertising space in the west, they having learned that the Sells Bros. show was headed there before embarking for Australia. Sells had employed the former Barnum show press agent Charles B. Stowe who supposedly had been fired by Bailey for his drunkenness and errant behavior. Stowe, angered, then took on the Barnum show in a series of vicious attacks that are thoroughly documented in over 90 scrapbook pages in the McCaddon (J.A. Bailey's nephew) collection at Princeton University. In the front of the scrapbook are notes by McCaddon explaining the circumstances of the attacks. While the Sells brothers did nothing to stop Stowe, it was only a very few years later (1896) that Bailey and the Sells become partners in the newly combined Forepaugh-Sells show. – Richard Flint, Baltimore

    Reply: 25 Jun 2007 - The following appeared in the press in June 1891. "Had not Adam Forepaugh made his final exit from mortality's great arena, presumably to manage 'a galaxy of stars' elsewhere, he would be forced to concede that Sells Brothers now have essentially "the greatest show on earth," and the only legitimate one of its kind left." That is quite mild compared to other derogotary and 'spoiling' press articles, about the Forepaugh circus that were published in that year. Sells Brothers always choosing to refer to McGinnis rather than Bailey...'the real name of Barnum's surviving partner." The press in 1891 were already referring to "the big circus war" but presumably these were early skirmishes which led to the particular battle Cooke refers to? Paul Griffiths

    Reply: 28 Jun 2007 - Re: First response received. Thank you for nailing down the dates for the Barnum & Bailey and the Sells Brothers conflict and great tip about the McCadden collection. I also appreciate your point about Cooke’s focus on story telling, as well as your reminder about the time period in which he wrote his chronicle. You’re extremely perceptive. I work for a museum and dates matter. I am writing an article on the circus wars between the Sells brothers, Bailey, and the Ringling Brothers. After reading your reply, I visited McCadden collection website and found the scrapbooks I’ll need. Your message has saved me hours of fumbling with the wrong books and useless surfing. Thanks, again. Michele Collins.

    Re: Second response. Thanks for giving me the information about the June 1891 news copy. Actually, I’m writing an article on the circus battles, scrimmages, and/or wars between Sells brothers, Bailey, and the Ringling Brothers. And I wondered which “press” printed the quote you gave that slammed Bailey-Forepaugh? No wonder the Sells brothers provoked the wrath of Mr. Bailey! I’m appalled by their audacity. (Of course, they always did have something against the poor adopted folks. Just kidding - I wouldn’t want to claim Willie as kin, either.) Do you know the publisher or the source where the Sells brothers, and/or their press agents, referred to J.A. by his birth name? Could they have committed such an atrocity in one of their handbills or posters they printed? I’m grateful for any leads. Thanks, again. Michele Collins, Columbus, Ohio

    Reply: 29 Jun 2007 - Re: Second response. The quote came from an article in that well respected title the Fort Collins Courier! There is no doubt the McCaddon scrapbook will give all the details and background, but I hope you haven't a close deadline for your article, as my experience is of a very slow service when requesting copies of archive material from Princeton University! For a more immediate taste of the war...follow the Sells routes from 1891...and search in the on-line newspaper archives from along the way. You'll soon come across reports and perhaps find one by another, "clever journalist in the employ of Sells Bro's...Col. J. B. Austin." Good hunting! Paul Griffiths

    Reply: 10 Feb 2009 - Sells Bros was with 4 Paws known as 4 Paws & Sells Bros. About 1901 to 1905. My great grandfather was Oscar Lowande rode horses and got a gold metal for a somersalt from two horses running at a full run. 1902. From The circus and Teddy Roosevelt try lowande's, Paws for more info. Bruce

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1942. Royal Bros. or Family Circus, 20 Jun 2007 - I am looking for information on Royal Brothers Circus or Royal Family Circus. I am not sure which. They were in Georgia (Toccoa) performing in the early 1950’s and they either spent the winters in North Carolina or Florida. Please e-mail bedwards@whitlowelectric.com. Thank you, Beverly Edwards. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1941. Dr John Turner, 19 Jun 2007 - I am stunned to learn and report ith deepest regret that John Turner passed away yesterday in Southport. A huge loss to all who were interested in circus history - such a generous man, he will be greatly missed. I'm sure others will add to this post, I'm just stunned. Jim Stockley, South Africa. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 21 Jun 2007 - When I first started my quest for information concerning certain performers, he was the first one to reply to my queries. A very generous gesture from one stranger to another. I am very sorry to hear of his passing. Janette L. Jones, jljones@molalla.net

    Reply: 02 Jul 2007 - I didn't know yet. I'm deeply shocked. My condolences to his family and friends. Natasha Gerson

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1940. Navarro Brothers, 19 Jun 2007 - Hi, my name is Elena and I have a picture that I received as a child. I am looking for any information on the Navarro Brothers. They were part of a circus act sometimes in the early 1960's. The picture that I have of them has them ballancing on a pole one on top of the other. I think one of the performers name was Manuel. Any information would be appreciated. My email is edlr60@hotmail.com. Thanks for any information. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1939. Calamity Jane, 18 Jun 2007 - Do you have the history of when she was with Kohl and Middleton? She is my g-grandmother on my mother's side who was Martha Jane Lake. Her mother's name was Jennie B. Lake, who was born in St. Louis, MO. I have several photos of the Earl Reynolds and Donnagan roller skating troupe that traveled all over and at one time was told they did some work for K&M. He home was in Rensaleur, IN and I was there in the early 40's and knew Earl, who is my grandmother's first cousin. She was raised by his mother Hattie, due to the woman who took grandma, when she died. I know this is a wild letter, but do hope to hear from someone. Thank you, Sincerely, Sylvia. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 20 Jun 2007 - On Sept. 4, 1893 Kohl & Middleton opened their New Dime Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. I do not know if this was their only showplace or not. However between Sept - Dec. 1893 they featured Vaudeville acts, living curios, comedy theatre, and a menagerie. They featured Owens the armless cowboy who shoots with his feet, along with Texas Ben and Annie typical pioneers from the Wild West. Calamity Jane was not listed during that time period. You might try looking under Dime Museum History. John Polacsek

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1938. Shrine Circus in Minneapolis 1940s, 17 Jun 2007 - I would like to know what well-known performers - clowns, acrobats, high-wire, etc. - performed with the Shrine Circus in Minneapolis in the 1940's. Susan Swanson, New Orleans, LA, swoverby@cox.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1937. Wilfred Mae Trio, 16 Jun 2007 - Wilfred Mae Trio hoop jugglers appeared on Siuper Circus TV on two occasions, July 31,1954 and Nov. 6 1955, Does anyone have a VHS of eiither of these TV programs? Roger Montandon, rogerm@olp.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1936. Bertram Mills 1958, 16 Jun 2007 - Help! I am looking for any information on people who worked at Bertram Mills Circus in 1958. I am trying to track down someone with whom I lost contact. Thanks! Bridget Havard, petitesstars@hotmail.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 20 Jun 2007 - David Jamieson's excellent book on Bertam Mills might be a help. It lists all the artistes? I can look though it for you if you want? or you could post a message at the UK CFA Forum www.circusfriends.co.uk/main.html, and click on 'my forum' button on the left. Who are you looking for? Jim Stockley, South Africa

    Reply: 06 Jan 2011 - I was reading the UK mag yours and there was an ad, a person called G jones (Blendell) is looking for a person with the name Julie Foster, they toured with Bertram mills circus in the 1950's. So looks like she was a part of the circus. They only have her address in the mag. G blendell (nee Jones), Cheam UK

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1935. Frank J. Sutton, 15 Jun 2007 - I am looking for information on Frank J. Sutton who is buried in Osceola, Arkansas. Here is a description of his gravemarker, but so far that is all I have: It was over six feet tall and probably four feet wide and had an elaborate circus scene carved into it. There was a tent, a clown, a woman in a tutu standing on one foot on the back of a pony. In huge circus letters it said, "Frank J. Sutton - One of the last great showmen." It was impressive. I have checked Slout's Olympians of the Sawdust Circle but there is no listing for that specific name. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!! Carrie Bowers, VA (zatarains80@hotmail.com). Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 16 Jun 2007 - Decorative headstones with scenes like you describe are likely a more recent phenomenon. There was a Frank M. Sutton in the traveling carnival business in the 20th century. There is some coverage on an insert to Joe McKennon's "Pictorial History of the American Carnival," Vol. III. Perhaps there's some relation? Perhaps the date of internment is in the cemetery files, which should lead you to other information. That can also be checked with Social Security death records, which might connect on the approximate date and location. Parkinson's title listing includes: "Sutton Show" and Sutton Bros. in 1932, "Shorty" Sutton, owner; Sutton Bros. Circus 1908; and Sutton's American Wild West & Roman Hippodrome, 1890. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 21 Jun 2007 - I discovered the 1891 Dick Sutton Show out of Iowa, and the 1906 Dick P. Sutton New Novelty Shows playing a May date in Idaho. There also was an 1888 Sutton & Talbot's Circus that played a May date at Oskaloosa, Iowa, and I would suspect it was Dick Sutton with a partner. Ted Bowman Route Collection

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1934. Julia Pastrana, 14 Jun 2007 - Hi there, I am searching for photographs, illustrations, etc. of sideshow performer Julia Pastrana. She exhibited in the 1850's in the United States, Canada, and Europe. She was covered in hair (hypertrichosis) and had some facial deformities. Her manager, Theodore Lent, married her and treated her very poorly. She died after childbirth as did her son who possessed the same malformations. Lent then had both Julia and the baby "stuffed" and displayed them throughout Europe. Her body is now in Oslo, Norway in a forensic institute. I have written a book of her life and am searching for photos, etc. before publishing so if anyone can help, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Sandra. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 16 Jun 2007 - Try the Becker collection at the University of Syracuse [at least partially on-line], also older university theater collections, such as Harvard and Princeton, as well as the libraries and historical societies in New York City. The Victoria & Albert Museum might be another possibility, as well as MNATP, which I think has been relocated out of Paris to another city [Marseille?]. A check of T. Allston Brown's biographical dictionary might prove useful [partially transcribed on this website] as would George C. D. Odell's "Annals of the New York Stage." Be aware that there is a difference between "side show" [derived from "outside show"] activity and dime museums, personal appearances, etc. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 16 Jun 2007 - I do have an original photograph (not a copy) sold by her during her lifetime (not after she was mummified) as well as the accompanying booklet with marginal notes made by a distinguished scientist who spoke with her when he purchased the two items. Please let the webmaster of this site forward your contact address to me. You should know that there is a recent full length book first published in Oslo as "Julia Pastrana – Apekvinnen." The 2001 work by Norwegian journalists Christopher Hals Gylseth and Lars O. Toverud was translated and published in England four years later as "Julia Pastrana: The Tragic Story of the Victorian Ape Woman." As Publishers Weekly aptly stated, the authors "capitalize on her unusual appearance almost as callously and unapologetically as Theodore Lent, her manipulative manager and husband. Aside from sprinkled references to her accomplishments, the authors - lengthy digressions [and] embellished narration of events - detract from the book's credibility. Photographs and illustrations of Julia and other circus performers lift the work somewhat, but any opportunity to sensitively investigate her life is squandered here." I hope your work can improve upon this. - Richard Flint

    Reply: 07 Aug 2007 - Hi Fred, Thank you so much for all the info. It is greatly appreciated. Sandra

    Reply: 07 Aug 2007 - Hi Richard, Thank you very much for responding. I'm just wondering which photo you have and which scientist made marginal notes in the booklet. The novel my husband and I wrote it just that, a novel. It is not a biography from a scientific point of view. It is a fictional biography. It is my take on what happened in Julia's life with Lent. My husband and I have worked for years with people with disabilities. We have a man with cerebral palsy living with us for the past 10 years. We know, first hand, how terribly people are treated based on how they look and the overwhelming barriers they face each and every day of their lives. Julia was no different. Please email me at irlam2000@yahoo.com so that we can talk further. Thank you. Regards, Sandra

    Reply: 07 Oct 2007 - I enclose a photo of the woman in question from a newspaper article about her two years ago. [Photo attachments are not able to be included on this discussion board - webmaster] The occasion was that there on the 12th September 2005 was held a mass for her at St. Joseph´s Roman Catholic Church in Oslo. She is presently in a closed sarcophagus at the Schreiner Collections at the University of Oslo. Which resembles more a grave than a laboratory. However, the University of Oslo decided a few years ago that she was not to be buried, but be kept for possible future scientific research. She was exhibited the last time during an agricultural exhibition in Oslo in 1958. This is – as far as I know – how the matter stands today, although I am not an expert with updated info. As for illustrations, the enclosed photo was supplied to the newspaper by Scanpix, Norway´s largest picture agency. They and/or the national press agency (ntb.no) should at least have some pix and illustrations. From time to time she does appear in the media, seeing that it is quite exotic that such a person of fame should end up in small Norway. To keep updated – without speaking Norwegian I would gather – you could turn to the English news summary and archives of one of our largest newspapers, Aftenposten.no. Or you could enquire at the University (uio.no/english/), which might also have some photos or other material. If you should require some help from someone "on the spot", I would be glad to be of assistance. The editors of the Message Board should have my mail address from this reply. Stein-Erik Mattsson (s), Circus Friend, Oslo, Norway

    Reply: 08 Nov 2007 - Hello, I am interested in consulting with Mr. Richard Flint about Julia Pastrana and the ethical questions that the treatment of Ms. Pastrana brings up. I agree that most available information on her continues to utilize a sensationalist angle that perpetuates the exploitation of her condition. I would greatly appreciate it if you could contact me. Kind regards, Laura A. Barbata, lbarbata@sprynet.com

    Reply: 19 Nov 2007 - I'm glad to say that our novel has just been released. It's called "Julia Pastrana" and is available through trafford.com, amazon.com, and soon through Barnes and Noble and other bookstores as well as through myself at irlam2000@yahoo.com. Thanks and I hope you enjoy it! - Sandra

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1933. Circus train derailed 1911, 14 Jun 2007 - My name is Tracey Stoltz and I live in New Braunfels, Texas. My email address is: tracey.stoltz@sbcglobal.net. I am researching a very old story for a friend and was hoping that someone in this on-line community can help me. The story my friend was told was that around 1911 a Circus train derailed in Smiley, Texas and took out part of the house they're now living in. They were told that Circus animals as well as injured humans were bought to the house to be treated or to die. Their house is, without a doubt, haunted by a number of personalities and their young granddaughter often talks about the 'big kitties' that leave the room via the walls. As you can imagine, we have very little to go on but possess a burning curiosity to find out what happened, and it is my hope that someone can offer me a lead or a direction my investigation should take. Any assistance would be eagerly welcomed and deeply appreciated. Thank you in advance. Tracey. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 21 Jun 2007 - A must for any search will be determining the railroad involved, as accident investigations usually name the company and are probably filed by railroad – providing any records still exist.
    Based on a reprint of a 1928 railroad atlas, it appears Smiley was located on the Southern Pacific (SP). Through 1967 Texas required railroads operating in the state to maintain headquarters there and many were subsidiary corporations with their own identity. With that in mind, you may also need to check Texas & New Orleans (T&NO) — but not the later Texas & New Orleans Railroad which was a 1934 merger.
    You might query the state historical society if any railroad accident records exist.
    You might also wish to check with the office of the state Railroad Commissioner; in recent times, often part of the Public Utilities or Service Commission. They may have conducted their own investigation at the time.
    It would appear this was a very remote area in 1911; several deaths or burials of unrelated people (different last names) occurring in a small town around or on the same date might offer some clues. Accidental deaths might have resulted in a coroner's inquest; death records/certificates might still exist in the county as well. Another possibility might be local cemetery or church records.
    The DOT maintains an on-line library of ICC railroad accident investigation findings from April 1911 on, but there is nothing listed for the SP, T&NO or any circus in 1911 or 1912.
    My understanding is that the National Archives has the ICC records as part of its railroad collection – a search of their Website might be of some help. Lance Burton

    Reply: 22 Jun 2007 - A check of the routes for the major circuses of 1911 does not bring any additional information to the table. If the train was passing through on the way to a date and had an accident it usually means that a date or a performance was lost, but this was not the case. You could always read the county newspapers, usually 52 weekly issues, and see if there is any information about the accident. A listing of circus wrecks by Harry Bowman does not list any wrecks in Texas during the 1911 season. Ted Bowman Route Collection

    Reply: 25 Jun 2007 - The railroad that passed through Smiley, Texas was the San Antonio & Gulf Shore Railroad later named the San Antonio and Gulf. Later it was taken over by the Southern Pacific. Smiley, Texas, even today, is only a wide spot in Highway 87. If you are in New Braunfels, Texas, it is not that great a distance to drive down there and do a cemetary "crawl". Surely if someone died in the wreck, they were buried there. Good luck. The next time I drive through Smiley, Texas, I will do a cemetary search simply because you have now gotten MY interest up. Ed Gaida

    Reply: 23 Nov 2007 - Hi: Re Number 1933 on trainwreck derailed 1911 near Smiley, Texas. My name is Dan W. Brown. I was born in Coleman, Texas however this time live in New Zealand. My Father was born in 1896 in Falls County, Texas and at the age of about 15 or 16 ran away to the Circus; one called Hill Brother's Circus or Canvival (I am not sure which). In a photo album of his there are many pictures of a train wreck however there are no names or anything that would identify this wreck. I also have one picture of him in his cowboy outfit complete with chaps and standing beside a small pony. Do you know the name of the circus (carnival) that was in the train wreck at Smiley? My email address is djbrown@xtra.co.nz. I do hope that this is of some help.

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1932. Emerich Pinter, magician, 14 Jun 2007 - Hello everybody, I am writing a book about the history of conjuring in Greece. A groundbreaking book actually as no-one else has writien anything of the kind before. This of course also makes the endeavour excedingly difficult. Much knowledge has already been lost (for ever unfortunately) and the little that is salvaged must often be thoroughly reconstructed in order to make sense. Still a worthwile project.

The reason I am writing to you is that one of my informants claimed that his father worked as a magician with a Dutch circus in the beginning of the 20th century (perhaps in the 1920s). His name was Emilios Pitas in Greek, but he had latinized it into Emerich Pinter. That was probably also his stage name.

Has any one heard of such a circus artist? Anywhere, anytime? If I could identify the circus he worked for that would mean a lot to me since this magician was one of the most important ones in Greece. He later returned to Greece only to perish during WWII. Any advice or suggestion is welcome. Thanks in advance. Best regards, Ioannis Tsoukalas. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1931. 19th Century Prints, 13 Jun 2007 - New on www.circusmuseum.nl/eng many prints, litho's etc. from the 19th century. Circuses like Schumann, Astley's, Hagenbeck, Busch, Renz, Krembser, Wulf, Carre, Myers, Cirque d'hiver, Molier, Cirque de Paris and Sangers's Circus. Persons and artists like Pezon, Madame Sachi, Blondin, Maggie Claire, T.P. Barnum, Houdini, The Beni Zoug-Zoug Troupe, Zachs Bros, Grimaldi and many others. Check als the 7.000 posters and 8.000 photographs for research or fun. Herman Voogd, hvoogd@teylersmuseum.nl. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 17 Oct 2013 - Circus Hagen played in Amsterdam. f. sawade
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1930. Elephants Ronnie and Rosy, 13 Jun 2007 - I wonder if you could tell me if a circus sometime between 1890 and 1915 had elephants by the name of Ronnie and Rosy? We have a family story that twins born in 1915 and then unfortunately killed in the Silver town munitions factory explosion in 1917 were named after the elephants at the circus! (Their mother was born in 1880) The family were very poor and lived in Poplar I am sure they would not have been able to travel far to the circus. I have tried the Internet but cannot find any mention of these elephants, I have also looked at London Zoo. I don't know if you are able to help, but it is such a sweet story it would be nice to find it was based at least on some truth. Thank you Jane Harbour. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1929. Roy Rogers 1950s Olympia, London, 13 Jun 2007 - I believe Roy Rogers with Dale Evans and of course Trigger appeared as guests, with probably Bertram Mills Circus (maybe Billy Smart or Chipperfield), at Olympia, London during a Christmas/New Year period sometime in 1950's - but can anybody tell me exactly which years please? Many thanks, Jennie Lampton (jennie@eavs.co.uk). Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 14 Jun 2007 - To Jennie Lampton, in re: CHS Discussion Board inquiry #1929. Roy Rogers: Jennie, contact John Turner in Great Britain, at john_martin_turner@btinternet.com. He is a fine historian of circuses in the UK. Also, post your query on www.circusbiography.co.uk, and someone will likely provide a good response. I did see a documentary long ago, with footage of Roy Rogers visiting London to astounding acclaim. I cannot recall the year he was there, but I believe he, Dale Evans, and their troupe were there more than once. Go to IMDb.com for his film history and biography - this is Internet Movie Database, which offers extensive details on movies, TV shows, actors, directors and crew. Go to your favorite server, such as Google, type in Roy Rogers, and follow the links the endless references to his career, including several biographies written about him. Any of these sources may lead you to the years Roy appeared in Great Britain. Good luck. Roger Smith, steelarena314@hotmail.com.

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1928. Circus Wagon #48, 12 Jun 2007 - I am looking for any information or pictures of a # 48 Circus Wagon. I found a large wooden model that someone built of a Circus Wagon with a 48 on each end and was wondering if it was built from an actual wagon. On the side of the wagon is a large vase or urn in the middle with something that looks like a wheel on each side of the urn. I saw on one of the history pages there was a # 48 Wagon with the Miller Bros Circus. Thanks for the help Larry Wofford, lwofford@insightbb.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 13 Jun 2007 - Any number of wagons in American circus history bore the number 48. Several vehicles also bore a central carving that might be judged to be an "urn," but the most likely one was the Oriental Tableau with Pawnee Bill's Wild West. The vehicle is illustrated in the story about the PBWW parade wagons in "Bandwagon,"XLIX, 1, pages 3-21. It's also illustrated in the Allen Farnum book about PBWW and elsewhere. It does not have the "wheel" decorations that you describe, but sometimes modelmakers deleted actual carvings in favor of a simpler design. There are also many modelers who simply freelanced wagon construction, utilizing decorative elements that are readily available to them. Fred Dahlinger

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1927. Straits circus 40s, 12 Jun 2007 - I am looking for info from James Straits circus in the 40's. Head tentsman and strongman/sword swallower Ray "Heavy" Case, also ate fire. Later married one of the burlesque dancers who went by the name Leilani (spelling unsure). They performed in the mid 40's. Any info would be extremely helpful, Ray was my grandfather. Joseph.Gusner@frontiercorp.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 13 Jun 2007 - The correct name of the enterprise that you're seeking is the James E. Strates Shows, a large railroad carnival. Bob Goldsack of Nashua, NH wrote and published a book about the show. His contact information is on this website. The Strates Shows, which still operates today out of Taft, Florida, had a midway with various "back end" shows. They included wild animal presentations and side shows. These, together with the mechanical thrill rides, games and food and drink joints formed the midway. You might also find the books "Seeing Is Believing" and "Girl Show" by Al Stencell to be of interest. Fred Dahlinger

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1926. Modoc, 12 Jun 2007 - I heard that an elephant named Modoc, once owned by the Terrell Jacobs family was killed while making a Tarzan movie. I knew this animal and am very curious as to the story behind the death. Thank you. Charlene Kosche charlene@kosche.org Tacoma, Washington. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 14 Jun 2007 - MODOC - Asian Female, 4 years old
    1937 - Cole Bros. Circus
    1938 - Robbins Bros. Circus
    1939 to 1942 - Bud Anderson Circus
    1942 to 1963 - Dolly Jacobs elephant act
    1963 to 1966 - Circo Bell in Mexico
    Died July 29, 1966 during the filming of a movie in Mexico

    Hope this helps. Bob Cline

    Reply: 03 Jul 2007 - From what I remember,the elephant went berserk while filming an episode of the NBC television series TARZAN starring Ron Ely down in Mexico. I believe the elephant killed a woman and her child and so they killed the elephant. Kenton C.

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1925. Pheonix Flyers, 12 Jun 2007 - Can anyone tell me any history or the where abouts of a trapeze act called "The Pheonix Flyers" I think they were originaly from Africa. I believe there was a husband and wife and a brother of one of them. I don't know their names though I was only 3 or 4 years old at the time. They travelled with "The Roberts Brothers Circus" between 1975 and 1980. My parents were horse, elephant, camel, lhama handlers. My name is Jean-Ann and I believe that they would remember my name. I would dearly love to hear from them or anything about them if anyone has any information about them could they contact me on Jean-Ann_MacDonald@hotmail.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1924. Cora Weed, albino, 11 Jun 2007 - I am looking for any information on an albino woman who worked with Barnum and Bailey Circus. I do not know her stage name, or the years in which she may have worked, I only that her real name was Cora Weed (1862-1921) and that she was advertised by the circus as having been born on an island in the Pacific. Please send any information to DragonsKitten@aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1923. Erika Zerbini, 11 Jun 2007 - Does the Zerbini show come to Harrisburg and what can someone tell me about Erika Zerbini. frankiegee1@verizon.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1922. Ringmasters Chris Connors, Billy Martin, 09 Jun 2007 - What can you tell me about Ringmaster Chris Connors and Ringmaster Billy Martin. I know I seen Billy Martin in Harrisburg a long time ago. Does the le branes circus play PA? frankiegee1@verizon.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1921. Don Leslie, Sword Swallower, 08 Jun 2007 - Captain Don Leslie, Sword Swallower, Tattooed Man, All around Ten in one died, 4 June 2007. Diagnosis; tongue and throat cancer. A Hero of the first order. Henry Goldfield, tarta2@sonic.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1920. Wm. C. Heberling's Fremont OH ca 1906, 08 Jun 2007 - Does anyone know any information on this? I have came across information that stated that he owned a Zoo, this must be what this is, would love to know more information. Thanks, David Heberling. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 28 Aug 2012 - I am doing research for my neighbor, whose grandfather, James Fredrick Briggs, was a wild animal trainer for Heberling's Wild Animal Arena. The Lorain Times-Herald carried an article about his wedding on 2 May 1907
        "Tuesday May 7, 1907. Lions and panthers objected, but the marriage in their cage proceeded anyway. The Lorain-Times Herald of Saturday prints the following of interest here: If there be any present who have a reason why this man and this woman should not be united in marriage, let them speak or - there was a grwon from Toga the huge African lion. It was taken up instantly by Frieda the Sloth bear and Sadie the panther. A second more and there was a chorus of growls from the animal cages of Heberlings Wild Animal Area, the main attraction with the Vining Greater Amusement Company. The reason for the growls? Inside their cage, before their eyes, they beheld their trainer, the man they feared above all others, being united in marriage to a beautiful young lady sweetly dressed in white. Probably they disapproved of the marriage. They growled long and earnestly. Their protests went unheeded, for with solemn tones, Squire Hall the South End Justice proceeded with the ceremony. A few seconds more and Captain J.F. Briggs and Miss Charlotte Spicher of Fremont, Ohio were united in marriage and the young bride slipped blushingly form the cage amid showers of rice which enveloped both the bride and the groom. The bride was taken in charge by a bevy of friends. The groom proceeded with the performance. It looked simple enough, but there was a quicker snap of the whip held in the hand of the trainer. The marriage ceremony in the wild animal cage was an attraction that took a large number of people inside of the tent of Heberlings [sic] Wild Animal Arena last night. The seats were crowded with spectators and there was a feeling of relief when it was over. The animals were at times threatening, but a command from the trainer, interrupting the ceremony was sufficient to keep them upon their seats about the cage. In one hand the trainer held the hand of his wife-to-be and in the other he held a whip that kept the animals at bay." Laura Hedgecock

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1919. Rodriguez family circus history, 07 Jun 2007 - My name is Kathy Velasco-Pedersen. My grandmother (Linda Rodriguez) and her family were mexican circus performers. I believe my great grandparents (Frank Rodriguez) came to the U.S. with the circus in the late 1800's. The stayed in the circus for many years and in the early 1900's their children were also in the circus with them. I have photos showing Frank, his wife and older kids (my grandmother) in acrobatic/trapeze outfits and the younger kids in clown costumes. They settled in Chicago once they came to the U.S. (though they continued to travel with the circus). Any ideas on where I might be able to get more info? Thanks for your help, Kathy Velasco-Pedersen. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 20 Jun 2007 - Dear Kathy Rodriguez, I have seen you message on the Circus Board and it reads: My name is Kathy ... Rodriguez family circus history, 07-June-2007. In circus a had an apprentice under him by the name of Leslie James Speechley. Could you give more details about Leslie James Speechley, and who did he work for. I would love to know all the information you have on this subject. Kind Regards, Lesley Brown

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1918. John Hopkims Berry, 07 Jun 2007 - I am looking for John Hopkims Berry who worked in England in 1958 in either Chipperfield or Billy Smarts Circus. He was born in 1926 and came from Wigan. I believed he was working at the same time that Digger Pugh's girls were part of the act. Any information would be gratefully received. Sharyn Yelding, petitesstars@hotmail.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1917. Lulu Bell Parr, 06 Jun 2007 - I am researching Lulu Bell Parr, Lady Bucking Horse Champion. The first place I find her is 1902 with Pawnee Bill's Show, but I believe her career may have started before then. She was Barnum & Bailey, Buffalo Bill's Wild West, The Two Bills Show, 101 Ranch, King Brothers Circus, Col. Cummins show, and many others. I am interested in any stories or images anyone can share. A local Historical Society nearby initiated raising money for a wonderful stone marker for her grave when it was discovered she was buried in their town in an unmarked plot. We recently had her inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Lulu was a colorful character, and I hope someone out there has memories, or photos of her. She was known as Lula to some. She died in 1956, Thanks so much. M Wallgren. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 14 Apr 2008 - Does anyone have any information of Lulu Bell Parr being injured around 1919? wbuff@swbell.net

    Reply: 11 Sep 2013 - I have talked to some old timers who worked with Lulu Bell when she was still riding broncs on the King Bros. Wild West show in the 40’s. They said she could out drink, out cuss and whip any man on the lot. She also rolled her cigarettes factory perfect one-handed. Bruce Lee

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1916. Hagenbeck-Wallace, 4 Paw-Sells, 06 Jun 2007 - I have acquired a circus poster that says Hagenbeck-Wallace and 4 Paw-Sells Bros. Combined Circus The Pagent of Persia the glorious origin of the Arabian Nights. I was wondering if anyone could tell me when this would have been and if there was any history on this circus I could find out about. Thank You, Joanne, birdslanding2@citlink.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 07 Jun 2007 - The Hagenbeck-Wallace and Forepaugh [4-Paw]-Sells Bros. Combined Circus title was utilized in just one season, 1935. The late Joseph T. Bradbury wrote an extensive history of the show tour in the journal of the Circus Fans Association, "White Tops," XLIII, 6 (Nov-Dec 1970), cover and pages 4-25 and XLIV, 1 (Jan-Feb 1971), pages 24-36. You might check the CFA's website, to see if these back issues can be purchased. Otherwise, you might consult your library as to where a copy might be obtained. Via the date [month and day] and day of the week, and the use of a perpetual calendar, you should be able to date it exactly.

    The 1935 program review included by Joe specifies the opening spec as "Oriental Fantasy," as stated by the "Billboard" reviewer. He makes no mention of "The Pageant of Persia" except in regards to holdovers from the 1934 season, wherein one of his contacts states that the Persia name is in the 1934 and 1935 printed programs. That may represent re-use of paper designs originally prepared for the 1934 tour. Perhaps you have a 1934-vintage poster with a 1935-dated date tag? The 1934 season was covered by a Bradbury article in the March-April 1958 issue [XXXI, 2], starting on page 7. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 07 Jun 2007 - This long title was only used in 1935 on the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus (owned by Ringling but under the control of John Ringling's creditors) in hopes of attracting a few more of those scarce depression coins. The title 4-Paw-Sells (or Adam Forepaugh-Sells Bros) had not been used since 1911 when it too was a Ringling property. Apparently not enough members of the circus-going public recalled the old title to save the 1935 show. Hagenbeck-Wallace didn't go out at all in 1936 and only on a leased basis in 1937 and again in 1938, in which year it closed forever on the west coast. Sic transit &c &c...

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1915. Secino Brothers, 06 Jun 2007 - Early 1900s team of hand balancing men called the Secino Brothers. I know they were with Clyde Beatty, Cole Bros circus, and they were also with another one. Tom And Dan Secino were the two gentlemen who performed. Tom was married to a woman who did the iron jaw, her name was Jane. I have little information on Jane as she died in the early 1920s of Tuberculosis. Jane is my uncle's mother. Tom is my grandfather and Dan is my great uncle. I would love to learn more about their life and performances. I have letterhead from their act somewhere packed away. If anyone could help me find some information or pictures of these people, I would be so happy. Best Regards, Toni L. Chester, tlchester@embarqmail.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1914. Dietch's Kiddie Zoo, Bob Dietsch, 06 Jun 2007 - Ian Spelling here with a magazine called 201. We're doing a story on bygone New Jersey destinations, one of which was Dietch's Kiddie Zoo. While Googling, I came across your site. Is Bob Dietsch still alive? Any idea how to reach him? We're trying to figure out the years that the Kiddie Zoo was in operation. Thanks, Ian. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 07 Jun 2007 - The article doesn't answer your specific questions about Bob Dietch and his zoo's operational years, but William L. Elbirn's "R-B Menagerie Operation Followup" in the CHS journal "Bandwagon," V, 5 (Sept-Oct-Nov 1961), pages 12-13 has some coverage of the Dietch Zoo's relationship to the Ringling-Barnum circus, as well as a few photographs. It's also mentioned in the issue of V, 3 (May-June 1961), page 22. Unfortunately, Bill passed away a few years ago. Some of the former Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey animal cages and baggage wagons that were once stored at the site were later relocated and are in various states of preservation elsewhere. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 18 Feb 2009 - I would love to see some pictures of Dietch's. I used to go there as a kid all the time. They closed around 1968 and became a tennis club. JeffNNJ at aol.com

    Reply: 21 Apr 2010 - I am doing a story on Dietch's, wondering if you turned up with any information. There are currently some pictures from the Zito collection at the Cadmus House in Radburn. Any infromation you have would be most apprecitaed. Francine DiGiorgio

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1913. Haney Circus, 05 Jun 2007 - My wife and I were digging thru a few boxes of antiques, preparing for a move. I found I have a hand made, wooden - antique circus train set made up primarily of animal cage cars and on the side they say "Haney Circus Dallas Texas." I would like to get some actual history. Can anyone tell me how to get info on or about the "Haney Circus." Thank you, Ray C. Rogowicz, ray@exhibittrader.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1912. Buffalo Bill Wild West, 05 Jun 2007 - Did the Buffalo Bill Wild West show perform in Peru, Indiana in 1916? Your help is appreciated. Mike Ford. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 06 Jun 2007 - Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Pawnee Bill's Great Far East, the "Two Bills" combination that was formed for 1909, came to an end in mid-1913. Cody then traveled with the Sells-Floto Circus during 1914-1915. In 1916 he was with the Miller Bros. & Arlington 101 Ranch Wild West. The direct answer to your posed question is, therefore "no," as the Buffalo Bill's Wild West no longer existed in 1916. If your question is broader, namely, did Buffalo Bill, himself, visit Peru, Indiana in 1916, perhaps someone can check the 101 Ranch routes to provide the answer for you. If your need is otherwise, you may want to re-state your question. Fred Dahlinger

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1911. Fritz Johnson, Band, 05 Jun 2007 - I am trying to find any photos that may include my grandmothers brother Fritz. He frequently traveled with the B & B Circus band in the 1910's thru the 1930's his full name was Fritz Robert Johnson. Thank you, Denise Tiderman. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1910. El Gran Circo Keller, 03 Jun 2007 - I am looking for information about a circus named El Gran Circo Keller which was active in South America in the early 1900s. Can anyone give me a contact to South American circus historians? Jennifer Wolcott, jennifer@wolcottart.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 05 Jun 2007 - There is one poster on www.circusmuseum.nl/eng: Circo Keller, las Giraldas, bailarinas Españolas. It is a Friedlanderposter dated 1908. On the same site www.circusmuseum.nl/eng you will find more then 300 photo's of Circus Sarrasani 's trip to South America (Search: ZUID AMERIKA) in 1934 en 1935. Boats, many cities, landscapes, animals and the tragic train accident. There is not that much information but use Babelfish.com for translation: Dutch to english. Herman Voogd, hvoogd@teylersmuseum.nl

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1909. Laurence Cahill, 03 Jun 2007 - I am looking for anything on a Laurence Cahill who was the son of Michael and Vivian Cahill. Michael and Vivian were Circus performers and Vivian died in a fall during their trapeze act. Michael was severely injured. This had to have happened sometime around 1915/1920? Date is approximate. I believe the Circus was "Colonel Morton Ortin's Circus"? performing sometimes in Kansas City, Mo. What happened to son Laurence Cahill? Did he go live with Vivian's family? Any information very much appreciated! Sharon, swd@socket.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1908. Senor Velasquez Nudrinal, 31 May 2007 - Velasquez Nudrinal, South American Circus Producer. I'm seeking biographical information on this gentleman and the circus tour he produced for six months, in 1950, which featured Mabel Stark and seven World Jungle Compound tigers. History being sought includes the name of the show, and the route of his tours through Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and Peru for that run. If anyone knows of organized circus historians in South America, or available archival repositories there, the information will be appreciated and acknowledged. Thank you, and you can answer here for all, or to my e-mail address: steelarena314@hotmail.com. Thanks again, Roger Smith. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1907. Today in history, 30 May 2007 - This is the 115 anniversary of the Walter Main Circus train wreck. The two elephants were blamed for the derailment of a 17 car train. 5 men were killed, 39 horses and ponies were killed. This happened in Tyrone, PA. A sad but interesting item. TRACKSORLANDO@aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1906. Circus models, Perry Clauss, 29 May 2007 - I just recently purchased at a local auction circus models that were made by Perry Clauss. I would appreciate any help in either locating this gentleman and finding out more about this stuff. Thanks, Mitch, Flatampsbst@aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 25 Feb 2008 - Hi Mitch: I just found this link via the web site and was surprised to hear that you were looking for items from Perry Clauss. Perry is my cousin and unfortunately he just passed away on January 21, 2008. He had been in ill health for several years and had resided in a nursing home in Plant City, Florida. I wish I had known you were looking for him earlier and I would have contacted him. He was talented man and took great pride with his miniatures and other items that he created. If you have any further questions, please contact me at another e mail address which is: stevesmom74@yahoo.com. Thanks for your interest in cousin Perry. His cousin, Nancy Henrichs

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1905. Cirkus Schumann, 28 May 2007 - I'd like to learn any information you have on this circus or a clown named Charlei Rivel. I have a neat poster with the above names at the top. Regards, Jim Beam, Sarasota, FL. Jimbeam@atlantic.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 31 May 2007 - You might look for "Poor Clown", the autobiography of Charlie Rivel. It was transleted into English in 1973 by Michael Joseph, Ltd. in London. The book also contains a number of photos that chronicle his career and private life. Robert Momyer

    Reply: 02 Jun 2007 - www.circusmuseum.nl/eng search "Charlie Rivel" and find 17 photo's and 3 posters. Herman Voogd, hvoogd@teylersmuseum.nl

    Reply: 14 Jun 2007 - One of Mr. Rivel's sons now owns a restaurant in either Denmark or Sweden. fatima

    Reply: 17 Jun 2007 - I looked everywhere for Mr. Rivel's book. Can anyone tell me where to get it in English? fatima

    Reply: 19 Jun 2007 - Fatima, Amazon.com has several copies for sale now. I found mine at an antique book sale. Robert Momyer

    Reply: 20 Jun 2007 - Thank you Robert, I will try to get it. fatima

    Reply: 14 Jan 2009 - Hi Jim: I think I have the same neat poster as yours. If you can I can send you and image of it. The poster was printed in 1955 during the tourne of the circus in Germany. Regards, Ignacio Entrena Ruiz

    Reply: 25 Jan 2009 - Look for fotos and posters about charlie rivel at www.circusmuseum.nl/eng h.best-otte the netherlands

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1904. Dog Act, Brighton England 1860s, 27 May 2007 - I am seeking information about a dog act featuring 6 to 8 "Russian Retrievers", said to be in or near Brighton, England in the 1860s. "Russian Retrievers" were large, pale golden or cream colored (maybe white) dogs with a heavy coat, and (an old story goes) were bought and taken to Scotland to become ancestors of the modern Golden retriever. Anything to either verify or disprove this story would be useful! Marcia Schlehr. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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1903. Tarzan, The Human Ape, 26 May 2007 - "Tarzan, The Human Ape." Does any one know of an act by this name in 1932, done by a man named E. Anderson, I recently saw a picture of the act and am not sure if it is a man in a suit, or a Chimpanzee. Bill Strong, yesterday1@verizon.net. Respond to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 02 Jun 2007 - Many chimps, apes, affen, apen, monkeys sometimes in suits on circusmuseum.nl/eng. Try these words and the word "tarzan". Herman Voogd, hvoogd@teylersmuseum.nl

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1902. Circo Ricardo, 26 May 2007 - We are interested in getting information about the history of the Circo Ricardo (Salpicon Ricardo), touring in Curacao/Venezuela in the late 19th, early 20th century. Does anyone have info? Esperanza Leon. Respond to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 31 May 2007 - Dear Esperanza Leon: I do not have this information. I trust between the two of us, we may discover research opportunities for South American circuses. I am looking for history on Senor Velasquez Nudrinal and the circus he produced for a six-month tour there. Good luck to both of us. Roger Smith at steelarena314@hotmail.com.

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1901. Attendance, novels, 26 May 2007 - I have two questions that I hope you can answer.

1. About how many people attended circus performances in USA in 2006? (Attendance record for any given year since 2000 would be acceptable, in case 2006 figures are not available).

2. In the past decade, which publishers have brought out novels set in the American circus? I've written one, and am lookng for a publisher. Thank you, Adrianne Aron, Berkeley, California. Respond to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 27 May 2007 - I don't know where to look for attendance records. I can tell you, I wrote a book entitled "America's Elephants", which is 100% factual. I've never found a publisher either. As with any author, the rejection pile is a mile high. Bob Cline

    Reply: 27 May 2007 - If you check www.amazon.com for circus books, you'll readily find the names of the publishers of recent fiction titles. To the best of my knowledge, no one specializes in the material and past practice is no assured indication of current or future interest. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 27 May 2007 - Here's a sampling of publishers who've published some form of circus fiction in the last few years: Algonquin, Alyson, Bedlam, Black Cat, Black Heron, Blue Works, Carroll & Graf, Harcourt, HarperCollins, HarperSanFrancisco, Hawthorne, Nonsuch, Random House, Red Hen, Simon & Schuster, Trafford, Unbridled, Villard, Warner, William Morrow. David Disend

    Reply: 15 Sep 2007 - Thank you for your responses. I'm still working at it. The manuscript took first prize in fiction at the San Francisco Writers Conference, 2007 (and before that won the Jack London prize for the Novel), and STILL no takers! All that applause and no audience. Thanks again, Adrianne


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