Monday, April 23, 2012

Great Detective work # 1

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus changed its format many times over the years. That actually has been a huge help in assisting those that are very knowledgeable to positively date photos and make corrections as needed.

And so our story begins. The infamous 50 elephant photo that was supposedly taken in Chicago in 1933 for the hugely anticipated 50th Anniversary caught good friend and fellow historian, Stephen T. Flint's attention. Something just didn't add up with the story which we already knew but Steve is one of the really good detectives that noticed the photo didn't add up.

Why you ask? The bannerline and the side show acts are a huge research project that Steve has worked on for years. After paying attention to the bannerline in the photo above ( you can double click on it to enlarge it ) Steve knew that the two bannerline wagons in the center and the banners on each end were from the 1925 season. By 1932, RBBB was using all four of the Bannerline wagons.

After studying more photos of the RBBB show, the next two elephant photos popped out as now Steve had an idea of what he was looking for.

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