Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Brand New Circus World Museum Book

Hot off the presses! The Colossal Book of Magnificent Circus Wagons by Susan Topham & Erin Foley, 50 Pages. With photography by Mark Stall, John Lloyd, and Mark Tully. This book contains full color pictures of 50 wagons from Circus World Museum’s collection. The wagons chosen for this book will be featured as a part of the 2009 Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee. The history of each wagon is detailed and many historical images are also included. A delight for circus and parade fans, this is the first book of its type in over 15 years. Special offer going on now, purchase both The Book of Wonders and The Colossal Book of Magnificent Circus Wagons and get both books for $20, a savings of $5.90. Select the combined product in the Book Category listed as Book of Wonders & Wagon Book. Contact CWM's gift shop at 608-356-8341 (toll free at 866-693-1500), or online at http://snipurl.com/l4t99

RBBB in Venice 1968

Work is progressing in the rail yards located behind the Venice arena.

RBBB in Venice 1968


RBBB in Venice 1968


This was as it was in the beginning, before fences and heightened security.

Friday, June 26, 2009

America's Elephants


America's Elephants

A new e-Book about the elephants that crossed America for the last two hundred years is now available online at http://www.thecircusworld.com/americas-elephants

Bob Cline has been a circus performer and animal person who owned his own tiger act. Now a Circus Historian, who has written a couple articles published in the Circus Historical Society's Bandwagon and the Carnival Midway, his book is written for the general public to easily understand .

The first elephants to come to America begin to tell a story woven with a description of biological differences between the species, what elephants can and will eat, William P. Hall's farm, Circus Days, Tragedies that befell the elephants, the White Elephants, Jumbo, Zoos, Breeding and Conservation, an entire Chapter dedicated to the great professionals who gave their lives to caring for these magnificent animals and the Circus Organizations and Museums in America.

Enjoy the Amazing Stories of America's Elephants!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mr. Stuart Thayer




I am greatly saddened to let you know of the passing of Mr. Stuart Thayer. He was probably the most prolific Circus Historian in dealing with 19th century shows. He authored Traveling Showmen, the Annals of the American Circus 1793 - 1860, and co-authored Badger State Showmen among his writings. He authored well over 50 articles and at least seven books.


I recieved this from Richard Reynolds III -
Sad news. This just in from Stuart's wife, Boyka Thayer.

We've lost the greatest of all circus historians.

For those of you who may not have heard, Stuart had been quite ill for some time. However, of late he had started moving around using a walker. He was making a trek to a nearby village area when struck by an automobile, suffering multiple fractures - - ankle, leg, and ribs. At the hospital he had been unable to breathe on his own and was on a respirator.

So now he has gone on to the great lot in the sky where he was no doubt warmly greeted by his old circus history colleagues - -among them Tom Parkinson, Orin King, Joe Bradbury, Bob Brisendine, Dick Conover and others who led the way in the learned pursuit of our shared passion.

Richard Reynolds

Monday, June 22, 2009

HW #2

Here is the old Hagenbeck Wallace Circus Generator wagon after being at the Louis Goebel farm in California for all those years. While at Louis Goebel's, the wagon was used in various movies with various circus titles. This photo was taken at Circus World Museum in 1966.

HW #2

Here's a page from Chappie Fox's book "Horse Drawn Wagon Collection". This is how the wagon looks at the Circus World Museum now. In fact this wagon was the first one I ever built in 1/2" scale after I saw the plans in the Little Circus Wagon years ago. This was actually used on the parade train as the generator for the coaches a time or two.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

A family reunion of sorts. My brother lives close to Mom and Dad but I have another brother in Jacksonville, Florida. They'll be in Ohio in July and I'm going back home then also. That'll be the first time in almost ten years that all of us got together at the same time. 57 years of marriage, 3 sons and a lot of circuses since then. Whoo Hoo!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!



My Dad would have loved to visit the North Carolina Zoo last month to see the Orchid exhibit. He has grown one in the house in Ohio. Way to go Dad!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fastest Eaters?


I Got this from John Goodall today.


Feeding frenzy! Man vs. elephant in new Coney eating spectacle
By Mike McLaughlin
The Brooklyn Paper
An elephant like this will take on humans in a hot dog bun-eating contest on July 3.

Through the eons, the human race has never faced a challenge like this before — an eating contest against elephants!But Coney Island is bracing for just such an unprecedented spectacle on July 3 with three brave — and perhaps na├»ve — souls daring to square off in a hot dog bun-eating contest against a trio of pachyderms from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The human are hoping that their superior intellect comes into play. For instance they can dunk the rolls in water [to minimize their volume],” said George Shea, the president of the International Federation of Competitive Eating, the governing body of all stomach-centric sports that is sanctioning the contest at the Ringling Brothers circus site on West 21st Street. The human gustatory gladiators have another advantage over the gentle vegetarian giants.
Perhaps the elephants won’t understand the word ‘Go,’ Shea speculated. The rules are simple. Whichever team eats more standard-issue frankfurter rolls in six minutes will be declared victorious. Individual honors will be dispensed on the single creature that stomachs the most starchy carbohydrates. The odds are clearly in the elephants’ favor. According to circus handlers, the beasts gorge on 200 pounds of food a day and can devour a loaf of bread, a staple of their diet, in one and a half seconds.
When most people see elephants, they see the majesty of nature. To me, I see an arrogant animal that needs to be taken down a notch,” said an unabashedly pro-human Shea. A win for mankind would be a major breakthrough in the world of inter-species eating contests. A Kodiak bear once thrashed six-time hot dog-eating champion Takeru Kobayashi.The gluttonous grudge match between man and beast comes on the eve of the annual July Fourth Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, an all-human affair that will see a rematch between two-time world champ Joey Chestnut and Kobayashi.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Reproduction Posters

Here is a great selection of reproduction posters being advertised on the internet. These are all from All Posters.com. They are mostly in the 12" x 16" size and vary in sizes and prices. Considering what posters are bringing on eBay right now, a couple of these are more expensive that the real ones.

Reproduction Posters


Reproduction Posters


Reproduction Posters


Reproduction Posters


Reproduction Posters


Reproduction Posters


Reproduction Posters


Reproduction Posters


Reproduction Posters


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Have a Pepsi!


Every good Circus Blog needs to have a concessions department. Take the blog from God's Country at http://poles2engine.blogspot.com/ for example. They have honey glazed bacon cheeseburgers for Breakfast. What a blog that is! WhooHooo! With the temperatures predicted to hit 100 degrees this weekend here in South Carolina, let's make sure the vendors are all prepared. This ad was in the Billboard on Nov. 26, 1949 on page 81.

Have a Pepsi!


When was the dark green used? 1930's, 1940's? I found this in Cheraw, S.C. last week. I had no idea it was there.

Have a Pepsi!

Another fine example of outdoor advertising.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Postcards


I'm not sure who Broncho Bill is but I think the elephants were the George Lockhart elephants in England. Does anyone agree or disagree?

Postcards

Brookside Park in Cleveland, Ohio. I grew up about 60 miles away in Sandusky. I am not familiar with this park. Can someone offer some details?

Postcards


Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. Looks like Asians and Africans together.

Postcards

These next two are from the St. Louis Zoo.

Postcards


Postcards

Zoological Park in New York circa 1912.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gorilla Escape at Riverbanks Zoo

A Western Lowlands Gorilla escaped its captors this morning at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, S.C., injuring a food service employee and forcing a lock down of the popular regional tourist attraction.
Some local TV stations are reporting that the animal ran wild for nearly an hour, although Zoo sources say those reports are exaggerated.
“There was only an animal outside of its containment for five minutes,” Riverbanks spokeswoman Lindsey Burke announced. “The duration from the beginning of the incident until the all clear was sounded was forty-five minutes.”
Burke confirmed that a food services employee had been injured in the breakout, but could not provide an update on the status of the employee’s injuries.
According to Riverbanks’ website, the zoo currently has three gorillas (Chaka, Mike and Kimya). The all-male group was transferred to South Carolina from Philadelphia Zoo five years ago.
Western Lowlands gorillas stand approximately five feet high and can weigh as much as 450 pounds. They are generally regarded as peaceful. Burke confirmed that “Mike” was the gorilla who escaped containment.
Officials with the Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens in Columbia say the gorilla climbed a piece of bamboo hanging over its enclosure to escape Friday morning. Zoo Executive Director Satch Krantz says a piece of bamboo the width of a dime drooped into the gorilla's enclosure, and the animal was able to climb it and escape its cage.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Americana


I've been taking pictures of what I call classic Americana for a few years now. The way things used to be. From time to time, I'll share a few memories of America as it was. I live in Cheraw, S.C. and this is in town on a trailer. The phone is still inside it although the glare covers it up.

Americana

I found this in Camden, S.C.

Americana


Taken in Morven, N.C. You can find these buttons still around and some still have Coca-Cola on them but very rarely will you still find one with the bottle on it.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Stop Complaining.


Now here is a person who really gets into their work!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

RBBB at Bayfront Center in St. Pete - 1966


1966 offered the legendary Hugo Schmitt and Charly Baumann. Here are some opening day photos taken at Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, FL. ( Bayfront Center is now torn down )

RBBB at Bayfront Center in St. Pete - 1966


1966 featured a very dapper, Charly Baumann.

RBBB at Bayfront Center in St. Pete - 1966


Some creative genius decided that they needed really long tusks on "Jumbo". If they don't have any tusks, we'll make them.

RBBB at Bayfront Center in St. Pete - 1966

The final result.

RBBB at Bayfront Center in St. Pete - 1966


Friday, June 05, 2009

Schlitz Circus Parade - 1974 ????


I've been working on a historical documentation of the Circus World Museum's parades over the years and in particular the Train. By 1973, the CWM had suffered a huge setback in the death of Robert Uihlein, the President of the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. who had so very generously poured tons of money into the CWM train and wagon Collections for the last ten years.
Somewhere along the line, the thoughts that the parade would roll again in 1974 got started with some printing occurring. Needless to say, I was sure surprised when I found this on eBay last week.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

George MacPherson


Hello fellow bloggers,
Many of us lost a good and dear friend with the passing of George MacPherson on Wednesday June 3rd. It was real interesting to read his obituary being involved with the SCPA because he truly loved animals and had a ball at the Shrine Circus with us in March.
Bob

Services for George Edward MacPherson, 78, of 681 Rutledge Avenue, Orangeburg, will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday June 6th, 2009 at the Dukes Harley Funeral Home, 3379 Columbia Road, Orangeburg, followed by internment at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Orangeburg. Pastor David W. Williamson of the Clifton United Methodist Church of Sally, SC will officiate.

Pallbearers will the Board of Directors of the Sunny Plain Antique Power Association.
Mr. MacPherson was born April 28, 1931, in Elrama, PA the son of the late John Edward McPherson and Della Esther Wray McPherson.
Prior to moving to Orangeburg from New York City with his wife Judith in 2000, Mr. MacPherson was president of Masque Sound and Recording Corporation, a company that provides sound systems for the majority of Broadway Musical productions and concert attractions. He started out in life as a veterinarian in West Virginia but his love for the performing arts drew him to the Broadway scene where for many years he was a highly respected producer and general manager of Broadway and touring musical and dramatic productions. He received three Helen Hayes Awards for his productions, the National Touring Council Award for Outstanding Service and he received The Metal of Merit from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to the Arts in Canada on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of her Accession to the Throne. Mr. MacPherson also served as the personal manager to humorist Victor Borge and entertainer Harry Belafonte. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict where he was a member of the Headquarters Staff of the 8th Army on special assignment to the 5th U.S. Air Force.
Upon arriving in Orangeburg he became involved in community activities and served as president of the Kiwanis Club of Orangeburg, vice-president of the Country Club of Orangeburg and president of the Sunny Plain Antique Power Association; the not-for-profit organization located in St. Matthews dedicated to educate and encourage an interest in the history of early American farms and perpetuation of the life way of the Southern Farmer, the agricultural history of South Carolina, and to promote and encourage the preservation and restoration of antique farm equipment. He was active in and served on the board of several agricultural organizations. He was the proud owner of a restored 1948 Oliver 77 Row Crop tractor. A sign on his truck proclaims, “I ain’t from the South, but I got here just as soon as I could.”
He was active in animal rights organizations and spent countless hours driving hundreds of miles throughout the South East rescuing Boston Terrier dogs from unsafe conditions and delivering them to foster homes where they received love and medical treatment.
Survivors include his beloved wife Judith Winter MacPherson, of the home; three children, Duncan of Hartford, CT, Malcolm of Toronto, Canada, and Morag of Bloomfield, NJ; granddaughters, Annie and Emma Chrzczon of Bloomfield, NJ; a sister, Dee Deibel of San Rafael, CA; nephew Christopher Deibel (Lori) and grand niece Jenna of San Rafael, CA: nieces Deborah (John Jeffcott) of Novato, CA and Mme. Diane Breysse (Serge) of La Reunion Island (France).
Special mention must be made of his constant companion, Boston Terrier, Buddy Holly.
Visitation will be on Friday June 5th, 2009 from 5:00 to 7:00pm at Dukes Harley Funeral Home, 3379 Columbia Road, Orangeburg.
Family will receive friends at the graveside service.
Memorials may be made to Maude Schiffley Chapter of S.P.C.A., PO Box 1584, Orangeburg, SC 29116

RBBB at Bayfront Center in St. Pete


Here's a great photo. It was taken in 1966 or 1968, I can't read the writing very well. I love the pinned on banner on the elephant blanket.