Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jacksonville Zoo

I made a quick ( 6 hours ) trip to Jacksonville, Florida yesterday to see my brother and his family and their newborn granddaughter. On the way back today, I stopped by the Jacksonville, Zoo. It is relatively small but had a lot of flora and fauna throughout. They had two Amur leopards, two female lions, one lowland gorilla with two celebes apes, one grevy zebra, a couple Nile Crocidiles, a bird aviary, and a bear and alligator section from what I could see. There were several monkeys displays and a sting ray exhibit also.

Jacksonville Zoo

They had three White Rhinos that I saw on display.

Jacksonville Zoo

They had a nice collection of Bongos.

Jacksonville Zoo

This Mamba was one of the poisonous snakes in their collection. They had a Puff Adder, a spitting cobra, an Egyptian Cobra, these Mambas, a Gibboon Viper, and others. It was the largest collection of venemous snakes I ever saw in one place.

Jacksonville Zoo

I saw four African elephants there. I just looked at the African Elephant Studbook. The three on display are the females and they have a proven breeding male seperated in the back. This answers the reason I asked in the next photo for seperating them.

Jacksonville Zoo

I didn't see any Zoo personnel so I can't tell you why this one was secluded from the three on display.

Jacksonville Zoo

This is the elephant barn. It appears that each one has an individual stall and door.

Jacksonville Zoo

This nice exhibit area was home to 8 giraffes including this youngster.

Jacksonville Zoo

The Feeding station was the hit at the Zoo!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends and loved ones!

Evansville Hadi Shrine Circus

To begin the great Thanksgiving feast, the 76th Annual Hadi Shrine Circus begins this afternoon at 2 PM. The top price is $22.00 seats and this includes three rings of performing elephants. This is truly the Greatest Circus on Earth. Their website is

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sept. / Oct. Bandwagon

I just recieved my Sept. / Oct. issue of Bandwagon today. What a beauty this one is. Lots of great articles and information inside. If you are not a member of the Circus Historical Society, you should join us on our website at Registration takes just a minute or two and Paypal is used for a fast and secure form of payment. You will really be glad you joined us!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Circus comes to Columbia, S.C.

Here is a circus person's dream come true. We always have agreat time getting together for the Shrine date and now add the RBBB red unit to that . Whew, it's exciting just thinking about it.
This is from my good friend Hal Guyon who lives in Columbia.

Greetings Circus Fans & Model Builders,
Mark down February 6, 2010 on your calendars for a "BIG CIRCUS DAY" in Columbia, SC. As we have done in the past we will attend the Royal Hannerford Circus at The Jamil Shrine Center for the 10:00 show that morning. Now here`s the "Great News", The Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Red Unit is also playing Columbia that weekend, how often does this happen, especially here in the south. I can only remember one other time. We can see Hannerford in the morning and then catch the afternoon Ringling Show after a lunch gathering, how can you pass up the opportunity to see 2 major circuses in 1 day, and both shows are within 8 miles of each other ! Then, if you are still in need of a "Circus Fix" you are all welcome to join together at my home for more "Cutting up Jackpots" looking at photos, films or showing of models or anything of interest you may have,You are also encouraged to bring items to sale or trade. Please feel free to pass this along to any other fan or friend that you may know that would like to attend. You can contact me at 803-776-1677 or for more information and how to purchase tickets and names of area hotels. Hope to see you all on February 6th.

Hal Guyon

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wm. P. Hall

Wm. P. Hall was the Horse King of the World. He was also the largest dealer in used Circus equipment and animals. I have been researching his activities for over three years now. I've made a trip to his home town of Lancaster, Missouri and to the Circus World Museum a couple times to go through all the letters that were saved from his home.

I'll be giving a presentation on Mr. Hall at next year's Circus Historical Society convention. If you have any letters, contracts, cancelled checks, telegrams, etc. to or from Mr. Hall in your collection, I would greatly appreciate a photo copy for the historical information it contains. Feel free to email me at

Wm. P. Hall Estate

This was in the Lancaster Excelsior. With Wm. P. Hall having passed away on June 30, 1932, his wife and son tried to continue on with Bert McClain still being their right hand man. Times were tough and the family was strapped for cash so they sold these three elephants. If I kept my elephant records correct, Mr. Hall would have owned thirty elephants in 1932 when he died.

Wm. P.Hall Estate

This is the former Robbins Bros. Circus that Fred Buchanan owned then wintered at the Hall farm. I have the court records that show Hall sued Buchanan, then had a Sheriff's sale of the entire circus which Mr. Hall bought back for next to nothing. What we don't have is knowing how the Schuyler County Bank held the papers on this unless Mr. Hall mortgaged it to get cash in his hands.

Wm. P. Hall Estate

This was found today in the Lancaster Excelsior newspaper from June 13, 1935. I don't know who this R.L. Burkland is that sold the train. More research is needed!

Wm. P. Hall Estate

The Hall estate was crumbling fast as the depression was hurting everyone and a drought that crippled state after state after state was taking hold. ( double click to enlarge )

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Duck Season

As a Public Service to all, this is just a reminder that Duck Season opens in 9 days here in da' South! Its not all its quacked up to be.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

O Scale Ringling Bell Wagon

This is a complete Model of the famed Ringling Bros. Bell wagon in O Scale. It sure is a real beauty. This is one of the Tinplate Shop kits. I have them in my Circus Store at

HO Scale Sea Shell Tab

This is the Tinplate Shops HO Scale Sea Shell tab. I have them in my Circus Store at

HO Scale Great Britian Bandwagon

This is the Tinplate Shops HO Scale Great britian bandwagon. I have them in my circus store at

HO Two Hemispheres Bandwagon

This is the Tinplate Shops HO Scale model of the Two Hemispheres bandwagon. I have them in my circus store at

Thursday, November 12, 2009

O Scale Hagenbeck-Wallace Cage

These are the Tinplate Shop castings. Re-creating the old Curtis cages, this 2 arch cage has the side boards in place. I have these in my circus store at

Woman In The Shoe

This is the Tinplate Shop castings. The Woman in the Shoe pony float is captured here in O Scale as a complete kit including the undercarriage, frame, wheels, and of course, the Shoe. I have this in my Circus Store at

O Scale Pawnee Bill Bandwagon

These are the Tinplate Shop castings. I have them in my Circus Store at

O Scale Sea Serpent Tab

These are the Tinplate Shop castings. I have them in my Circus Store at

O Scale Beauty Tab

These are the Tinplate Shop castings. I have them in my Circus Store at

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More 1/2" Scale models

This Mt. Vernon Flatcar is all made out of brass and sequin pins as the rivets. Each one is drilled and soldered. These are the old aluminum wheel sets that Johnny Lower was selling. I just bought some wheel sets from Karl Kruger in NY last year that are real nice also.

1/2" scale

1/2" scale

1/2" scale

1/2" scale

1/2" scale

1/2" scale

Monday, November 09, 2009

For My CMB Friends

This is some of the Circus World Museum Schlitz Circus Train I started building in 1/2" scale. This particular warren flatcar is made out of brass with all the rivets being individually drilled and soldered. I broke a bunch of miniature drill bits. More photos tomorrow.

1/2" scale

I carved this one at home at night. Around 1977, I think.

1/2" scale

I carved this during my lunch breaks while working for the city of St. Petersburg, Florida back around 1977 I guess.