Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Carl Hagenbeck - Animal Importer

The vast array of animals that were imported by Carl Hagenbeck's operation probably surpassed all others. In addition to his Hagenbeck Zoo in Germany, which was the focal point of the import business, he also had his Carl Hagenbeck Wild Animal Show at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens in St. Louis under the direction of his son Lorenz that included 15 elephants. This complete show would be bought by Ben Wallace in the winter of 1906 / 1907 which created the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus.

Louis Ruhe - Animal Importer

Now this is a name everyone knew when it came to finding animals. This ad was in the Billboard on March 23, 1907 on page 31.

J. Hope - Animal Importer

I have to admit, I've never heard of J. Hope. I don't know which show this was either, but it would be fun to do the research to find out. This was in the Billboard on August 5, 1905 on page 28.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Donaldson Litho Co. has a Circus for sale.

Here we see a complete circus for sale through the Donaldson Litho Co. Were they holding a lien for unpaid paper, who knows. It happened many times. ( If you double click the ad, it will enlarge enough to read. ) I don't know which show it was and don't want to speculate either. The ad appeared in the Billboard on June 6, 1906 on page 56.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lemen Bros. Circus

This ad was found in Billboard on August 18, 1906 on page 26. ( You can double click on the ad to make it enlarge so that it's readable. ) I'm not 100% sure what role The Campbell Bros. played in this but they were involved in trying to get the show sold and would keep Wm. P. Hall informed of every move. Wm.P. Hall did buy the Lemen Bros. Circus but not until May of 1909.

Great Wm. P. Hall show for sale!

William P. Hall, "The Horse King of the World", of Lancaster, Missouri only advertised a couple times in his career. Here we find in the New York Clipper on April 28, 1906 on page 275, an ad offering his complete circus for sale. ( unfortunately, the microfilms aren't very good sometimes )The Great Wm. P. Hall show toured for one year in 1905 being largely made up of the old Walter L. Main Circus properties. The Pawnee Bill show bought a good bit including four elephants. The Campbell Bros. Shows bought most of the menagerie animals. The rest remained at his quarters.

The Great Wallace Show for sale!

As found in the Billboard on December 1, 1906 on page 35, although advertised, This particular offer was never allowed to happen. Instead, Ben Wallace bought the Great Carl Hagenbeck show, combined it with his and it hit the road in 1907 as the Great Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. Carl Hagenbeck was infuriated that his name was being used by someone else and even filed suit in the courts to stop the use of his name. Needless to say, the Hagenbeck-Wallace title is still in use today by the Ringling organization.

Eph Thompson # 1

Eph Thompson was a gifted elphant trainer at the turn of the century. He was the boxing partner to the famed Adam Forepaugh elephant John L. Sullivan in 1888. Unfortunately being a Black man, he was not allowed to gain the respect of other trainers at the time so he went to Europe. Here he achived the recognition he so richly deserved for his fabulous training of four huge elephants. This particular ad was placed in Billboard on November 17, 1904 on page 34.

Eph Thompson # 2

I won't claim to know very much about Eph Thompson or his elephants. I'm sure his performances in the United States were during 1904 to 1908. Before or after those dates, I don't know. Mary was his famed Somersaulting elephant.

Eph Thompson # 3

Eph Thompson offered his elephants for sale here in the New York Clipper in the March 10, 1906 edition on page 87. They didn't sell however. The Billboard on March 7, 1908 on Page 22 carried a small article stating the Ringlings had offered $50,000 for the four elephants.

History tells us they didn't go to the Ringlings in 1909.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Parker & Watts # 1

The Parker & Watts show came out of the barn for the first time in 1938 and lasted through the 1939 season. Charles Parker and Ira Watts were the owners. This was a medium size truck show giving a daily parade. The show opened with five elephants. Ena, Mabel & Mona had come from the Seal Bros. Circus. Maxine & Thelma were owned by W. C. Richards. In a sign of things to come, Charles Parker tokk ill suddenly and died June 8, 1938 in Mobridge, South Dakota.

In 1939, Ira watts added one more elephant named Vera who was owned by Jimmy Hamiter. After the show folded, Ira Watts kept the three elephants he owned until he sold them to Hamid Morton in 1942.

Parker & Watts # 2

They had a tie in with Sinclair Oil obviously helping out with some monetary aid. I don't know, but I assume this was inflated on a daily basis.

Parker & Watts # 3

Parker & Watts # 4

Parker & Watts # 5

Parker & Watts # 6

Parker & Watts # 7

Parker & Watts # 8

Parker & Watts # 9

Love the Wardrobe!

Parker & Watts # 10

Parker & Watts # 11

Parker & Watts # 12

The banner man has been doing his job!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Gentry Bros. 1911

The Gentry Bros., Henry, Frank, Walter, & J.W, had started their show back in 1895 as Professor Gentry's Famous Dog & Pony Show. They used one, two, three, and four units of the Gentry Bros. on the road at the same time usually with one brother taking each unit. This particular title of Gentry Bros. All New Feature Shows was used from 1910 to 1912. In 1911 only Henry, and Walter were still in the business. This ad was found in the Newark Daily Advocate on June 26, 1911.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Andrew Downie's new show!

Andrew Downie had already been in show business for over 30 years when he took out the LaTena Circus in 1914. This ad was found in the Billboard on November 15, 1913 on page 23.

1886 - Downie & Austin's Parlor Circus
1890 - Rich & Downie Circus
1891 - 1892 - Downie & Gallagher Circus
1905 - Downie's Dog & Pony Show
1905 - McPhee's Big Company
1909 - 1910 - Andrew Downie's Circus
1911 -1913 - Downie & Wheeler's Circus
1914 - 1917 - LaTena's Circus
1918 - 1923 - Walter L. Main Circus
1924 - Andrew Downie's Circus
1926 - 1929 - Downie Bros. Circus ( sold it to Charles Sparks )

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

J.H. Garrett's Rice Bros. Circus

The 1914 season was picking up where the 1913 season had left off for J. H. Garrett. Here we find that Al Campbell is the General Manager. Al Campbell had been an owner of the Campbell Bros. Great Consolidated Shows from 1894 until 1912 when they folded. He then partnered with Lee Greer and Fred Hatfield in 1913 on the Cole Bros. Circus that folded after one season. This ad was found in the Billboard on February 14, 1914 on page 24.

Two Great names - One great Show

Wow! It just couldn't have gotten any better than this. Sells-Floto was one of the premier up and coming circuses of its day. They combined with the legendary Buffalo Bill to bring one huge package of family entertainment to your town for the 1914 season. This ad was found in Billboard on November, 29, 1913.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Before Ringling knew what the Madison Square Garden was!

A sure sign of the winter being over and that spring was about to erupt in full bloom was the traditional Madison Square Garden opening of what was then the "Greatest Show on Earth", The Barnum & Bailey Circus. Just by reading the ad you can get a pretty good idea how enormous a show it was. This ad was in the New York Times on march 22, 1908.

New York, New York!

Some of the greatest entertainment has called New York City home over the years. The Hippodrome was always using circus acts of all kinds. Reading this ad very close, it makes it sound like there were several different elephants all there at the same time. The ad was found in the New York Times on March 28, 1908.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Campbell Bros. Great United Shows

I've been researching the Campbell Bros. Circus for the last couple years now. Here we find a few ads that were used over the years celebrating the purchase of their first two elephants Venus, and Topsy. Both were bought from the Joe B. MacMahon show. Mrs. MacMahon knew Venus was enough trouble that they sent the elephant keeper Nadge with the elephants to remain on the Campbell show to handle the two elephants. This ad was found in the Republican Leader, Trenton, Nebraska, on May 27, 1898.

A Classic coming soon ad

Here we find a rather simple drawing as used most of the time by the Campbell shows. You'll notice the Oriental flavor that goes with the troupe of Japanese acrobats. Further below, you'll see mention of Prof. Nag and his performing elephants ( Nadge MacMayon ). Nadge came with the elephants from the Joe B. MacMahon show. This ad was in the Republican Leader in trenton, Nebraska on June 3, 1898.

The Finest Campbell Bros. ad I have seen

This is definitely the nicest ad I have ever seen the Campbell Bros. Great Consolidated Shows use. Even the posters I have seen were never a fabulous piece of artwork but rather plain and colorful enough to do the job they were intended for. With the advent of, I was able to locate this as being in Lafayette, Louisiana on November 9, 1901.