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Message Archive: Messages 551 - 600

600. Tom Mix Circus, 10 May, 2005 - Would like to find some pictures of the Tom Mix Circus, tents, vehicles and Wagons and posters if there are any available. Thanks. Rev Bill Humphrey. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - Stuart Thayer wrote a multi-part history of the Tom Mix Circus for Bandwagon in the 1970s. The issues can be identified in the Bandwagon index on this website and perhaps back issues are available. Fred Dahlinger

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599. Ben Tahar Troupe, Pina Troupe, Olvera Troupe, 10 May, 2005 - Looking for information on the Ben Tahar Troupe, The Pina Troupe and the Olvera Troupe. My Grandfather was Benjamin Tahar, my mother Baudelina Tahar ( Nina ) was conceived between Ben Tahar and Anita Pina when Anita was 14 or 15 yrs old. Ben was in his twenties. My mother was born out of wedlock. Sept 1927 My Great Grandparents were the Pina Troupe and My Grandmother married a man by the last name of Goldsberry. When he died she married Ruben Olvera and was in a performing act with him. My mother last saw Ben when she was 15yrs. I have pictures of my mother riding on an elephant, and with other circus people. I also have pictures of Anita high on a pole that is placed on Ruben's forehead where she would climb up and perform. I am told that my Grandfather Ben was a tumbler act. Pictures show my family to be with Clyde Beatty Circus, Russell Circus, and Barnum Bailey. I know that they traveled in the circus with the Escalantes, as they knew each other very well. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank You in advance, sincerely, Edward Sanchez, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

598. Little Jack Horton, 10 May, 2005 - I would like to know if there ever was a performer with the circus named "Little Jack Horton"? Maureen A. Carasiti, Coordinator of Program Services, Home of Guiding Hands, CA. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

    Reply: 18 July, 2006 - Yeah, me too! He's on Tom Russell's "Hotwalker" album as a narrator, but there's a rumor Tom made him up. Lenny E.

597. Thalia Francell Durgan, trapeze, 10 May, 2005 - I am looking for my Thalia Francell Durgan who was with Al G. Barnes Barnum & Bailey circus in the early 1920's. Her fiance Verne fell off the trapeze to his death. Thalia did not want to live without him so she climb up the trapeze and jumped to her death. I was told it possibly happened in New York. I have pictures of her in several costumes and also her fiance Verne. In the 1920 census she is living in Blaine, Wa. Soon after that she ran away to the circus. How can I go about finding this newspaper article of this incident? My name is Sharon Thomas at Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 17 August, 2005 - Have you found anything to do with article yet? Thanks. Sharon Thomas
    Reply: 30 September, 2005 - Haven't heard anything yet. Is there a circus magazine that would be helpful? Sharon Thomas

    Reply: 26 June, 2006 - Hi Sharon, Have you had any luck learning more about Thalia? I just spoke to her cousin and she will try to find something for me but does not know if such an article is even in her papers. If you wish, email me and maybe we have other information to share. Best regards, Helene (Lemke) Ennor,

    Reply: 21 December, 2006 - Hi Sharon, I just read your request for information on Thalia Durgan, I also have been trying to find out what happened to her. My Grandmother was her sister and I have 2 complete photo albums of Thalias life with the circus. The way the album read is that Thalia was known as Geraldine but was called Jerry. She married Laverne Perry who was a bandsman with the circus. I have a few newspaper articles that were in the album that states the name and the name of her husband, but they do not have dates. Anyway, please get in touch with me and maybe we could share info. and find out what happened to my great Aunt. Cindy Jones,

    Reply: 06 Jan 2008 - I'm interested in what eventually became of Thalia Durgan? I read a book by her sister Helene Glidden "The Light on the Island" which describes the children growing up on Petos Island where there father was the light house keeper. I have done years of genealogy research on my own family and just could not resist trying to find out what became of all those kids that grew up on Petos Island. Any information you might have on the children would be appreciated. Wade R. Hansen, Bellingham, WA. Thank you for your time.

596. Balloon Jumping, 10 May, 2005 - Does anyone know anything about young ladies jumping out of balloons in the early part of the 20th century? I was watching an old Groucho Marx TV series, where he was interviewing an elderly woman. She told him she used to jump out of balloons when she was young (for money). She informed Groucho that it was quite common pasttime. Do you know anything about this type of female act. I didn't get the sense that these women were affiliated with a circus in particular, it was just a daredevil stunt. berni. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

    Reply: 22 Aug 2008 - I have a cabinet card for which I am trying to find more information which may be about balloon jumping. Most of it is quite pale, but there is a photo of a woman, possible name of: Mme. Cordie/Gordie Thorngerry?Thorngrerf? "in the serpentine dance on a rolling globe in mid air". There is an artist rendering of a hot air balloon and an artist rendering of a parachute with the ball suspended from the parachute with the woman standing on the ball. The other writing seems to say; The Coleman/Doleman? Balloon Company, Frank Doleman Manager. If anyone could help me put more history to this, I would be grateful. The card was produced by Wendt of Boonton, N.J. Thanks. L.Sandoz-Sloggett.

595. Bob Goldsack, 10 May, 2005 - Does anyone have Bob Goldsack's email address: I sent him a copy of my thesis and would like to speak with him. berni. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - The question has been forwarded to Bob for direct response.
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - Hi Berni. My e-mail address is, Bob Goldsack

594. Play Dates, 10 May, 2005 - Would appreciate any available information for show dates of the RB3 (Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey) circus in Houston Texas during the 1930 s, 40's, & 50's. Danny McLean. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 13 May, 2005 - Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus played Huston, Texas for the first time during the 1930's on Sept. 27-28, 1930. Sept. 21, 1932. Sept. 26-27, 1933. Oct. 1-2, 1934. Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 1935. Oct. 5-6, 1936. Oct. 4-5, 1937. Oct. 10-12, 1938. Oct. 8-10, 1939. Oct. 6-7, 1940. Oct. 5-7, 1941. Nov. 14-16, 1942. Oct. 1-2, 1944. Sept. 14-16, 1945. Oct. 4-7, 1946. Oct. 4-6, 1947. Oct. 19-21, 1948. Oct. 21-23, 1949. Oct. 6-8, 1950.- Giovanni Iuliani

593. Zola the great, 10 May, 2005 - "Zola the great" was my great aunt. Her real name was Lennie Williams. I think she started in the circus business about 1928 up until her death in 1959. At one time she was married to "The Alligator Man", John Williams. He died in 1949. I am looking for anyone who might be able to share information about her with me. By the way, she was billed the bearded fat lady and worked for Clyde Beatty Circus in 1952 for sure. Thanks, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

    Reply: 07 July, 2006 - I'm looking for more information on John Williams the Alligator man. I understand that I"m related to him in some way. I have a postcard and photo of the both of them. On the back of my postcard the name given for Zola is Leslie. There is a family history written on the back of the photo of Leslie and John Williams but is a little difficult to read in places( John Williams history ). I think they could be buried in Anderson Ind or Madison county Ind somewhere? John Silvey,

592. Great Galasso, 29 April, 2005 - I'm trying to locate the son of an old performer who did a one finger stand on a glass ball. I'm pretty sure his name was "The Great Galasso" I believe they traveled with Clyde Beatty/Cole Bros in the 50's. I know they lived in a trailer court in Metuchen NJ during this time. There was a son who's name was Tripoli. I would like to contact Tripoli to renew an old friendship. Thomas R Wolf, Sr., Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - Check with Sarasota, Florida Information, as I believe Tripoli lives there. His Dad was one of the nicest Gentlemen in the business. Hope this helps.

    Reply: 27 March, 2006 - Greetings from Palm Springs, I was just surfing and saw this site and your request. How small this world. I was on the diving team and in the Sailor Circus in Sarasota, Florida, where I grew up. Tripoli and I were in competition for the springboard and he won, duhhh. Tripples. "1965" Well the last time I saw him was in the 70's at a Sailor Circus reunion in Sarasota, Florida. Hope that helps. I worked on the road in my own flying act and never heard that he was in the biz at all. Good luck. Ray Marek II "Flying LaRays"

591. Vanity Fair circus, 28 April, 2005 - I am trying to find info about a circus called Vanity Fair. I know it had to be on East coast of U.S. I am 70 years old and my grandmother, who was married in 1899, had a premature baby who was taken care of at a circus called Vanity Fair. We lived in Rhode Island so I am almost sure it had to be somewhere close to there. It has always fascinated me and I wonder who might know something about this. Would greatly appreciate any info you can send me. Thank you, Shirley Hanley, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - Vanity Fair was an amusement park in Providence, RI, 1907-1912. A number of early parks featured baby incubators as an "attraction"; no, not "pickled punks" but real, living, human babies. A fellow named Dr. Couney was responsible for the one at Dreamland, Coney Island, later moving to Luna after the 1911 fire. There is tertiary coverage of them, based on a visit by Sigmund Freud, in Sensations Magazine, Issue 12, Summer/Fall 1995, and also in contemporary literature. Fred Dahlinger

590. World of Mirth, 28 April, 2005 - My grand father (Arthur Perkins) on my Dad's side was supposedly a high diver in a small circus called the World of Mirth? My mother has an old picture of a man climbing up on a ladder suspended by wires. It's a terrible picture. Supposedly the circus was in Queens, Long Island. Has anyone heard of this circus? Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - The World of Mirth was a railroad carnival from 1933 to 1963. Bob Goldsack wrote a good book about the show and it may still be in print. He resides in Nashua, NH and his address can be found via directory services. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - The World of Mirth Shows. I wrote the book back in 1983. Although we had it reprinted once, we soon ran out of copies. BUT when the printer died a few months ago, his widow contacted me to advise that she had found a case of the book. So I now have a limited inventory of "Remembering the World of Mirth Shows." The price is $24.95 plus $3 p&h. It can be obtained by sending check or money order to Midway Publications, 70 Dublin Ave., Nashua, NH 03063. We also accept Visa, MC and AE credit cards if you wish to call. Number is 603-883-9405. If I'm not available, leave message and I'll return call. Please give your telephone number slowly and twice. Bob Goldsack

    Reply: 28 July, 2006 - The "World of Mirth Shows" was not a small Circus, It was a Big Carnival with a lot of rides, shows, games, and an evening ending "Free Act" such as a "Person Shot from a Cannon" over the Ferris Wheel/s or a High Diver that dove into a flaming pool of water, high wire act, or a Trapeeze Act. The World of Mirth shows travelled by train at least up and down the East coast during the in the 40's. and usually was in town for a week opening on Monday evening and closing on Saturday evening, knocking down, travel to the next town, and setting up. The Carnival was also open on Saturday afternoon for the kids that could not attend during the week. Most times the "World of Mirth" came to the towns in New Jersey in the Spring when school was still in session. I do remember going with my father to South River, NJ where the "World of Mirth Shows" was playing, after a violent storm. the ferris wheels (they had two or three) looked like a heap of scrap metal. My father knew the owners Max Linderman and Frank Bergen personally. I remember Max Linderman as being tall with dark hair and always well dressed. Frank Bergen looked a lot like Bill Frawley from the I Love Lucy TV show. There was also another gentelman (I think his name was Smitty) who worked in what they called the "Pay Wagon". One year (after the war) Mr. Bergen gave me a "Gold Pass" that allowed me and a friend to ride all the rides and see all the shows for free. For several weeks ( The Carnival played in adjacent towns as well) I was the most popular kid in school. I don't know what happened but in the 50's the "World of Mirth" no longer came around. The "James Straits Show" seemed to replace the "World of Mirth Shows"! "Ah, THOSE WERE THE DAYS"!!! Thomas R. Saboy,

    Reply: 25 Dec 2008 - My grandfather leased a large "circus lot" to this operation at his farm in Waterford CT back in the 40's. In fact, I came across a footnote in a 1945 report to the Hartford County State's Attorney regarding the tragic Hartford Circus fire of the previous year. It was noted in the report as well as in a July 7. 1944 "Hartford Times" news article, that the State shut down the World of Mirth operations at my grandfather's farm on July 6, 1944 because the same canvas tent material used in Hartford was being used by the Mirth operations for their tents. Understandably an abundance of caution. Not sure if the Waterford show included a "high dive" but you might check that date (7/6/44 or thereabouts) in the New London Day archives (the local newspaper). Kimberly

    Reply: 19 Jan 2011 - Hello. I am researching my husband’s grandfather (Arthur Perkins), who we know was in the circus/carnival. Arthur James Perkins married Nancy Sambucci and they had four children: Arthur, John, Daniel, and Anna. I think, perhaps, we are researching the same person. Perhaps we could share information?, Maryellen

    Reply: 15 Jan 2011 - My dad said he was in the Mirth Circus and was a tumbler, high wire act and also a clown. He was living near Boston and it was in 1935. He was John F. Ege, Jr, from Revere MA, and was in the circus in 1935-36 - climbed atop bridges to do handstands to draw crowds, and a clown. My brother said it was part of the Haag Circus and there is some information about it but not sure. Fred

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589. Windy Van Hooten Circus, 28 April, 2005 - Has anyone ever heard of the Windy Van Hooten Circus and Wild West? I have a parade ticket for this show. It was in with other items from the 1930's through the 1950's. Darren Bryan in Georgia, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 29 April, 2005 - Hi Darren. Many Circus Folk grew up listening to stories about the Famous Windy Van Hootens Mystical Magical Circus. To my knowledge, it is just that. A wonderful legend that has been passed down and around for many years, This is what I heard.
    The Mystical, Magical Circus
    The famous Windy Van Hooten's
    Mystical, Magical Circus
    is coming to town,
    with water-filled glass center poles in which
    live goldfish swim around.
    Two hot air balloons lift up the tent
    and carry it from town to town.
    Everyone knows just where it went
    and watch as it settles down.
    It never rains on show day
    and the cotton candy's free.
    The circus work is always play
    and there's no permits or license fee,
    The tent stakes are made of brass
    and never leave a hole.
    The showlots are always grass
    and the trucks always seem to roll.
    The bigtop's made of elastic
    so there's always room for more
    The cushioned seats are just fantastic,
    and there's red carpet on the floor.
    The bigtop temperature stays the same,
    it's never too hot or cold.
    The wild animals are always tame,
    and the side and quarter poles are gold.
    No one is ever hurt and no one's ever fired.
    There is never mud or dirt.
    and everyone who asks, is hired.
    The cookhouse never closes
    and everyone one the show eats there.
    There's cloths on tables set with roses
    and four chefs who really care.
    The Performers have new wardrobe for each
    and every act.
    The clowns are always funny.
    Can you believe that fact?
    So when the Famous Windy Van Hooten's
    Mystical, Magical Circus
    comes your way.....
    if it's the very last thing you ever do.....
    go see the show....and stay!
    by bunni bartok
    Reply: 15 June, 2005 - My family comes from England and our name was Vanhooten, but when we came over here to the USA, we shortened it to just Hootens. And there's a man that has wrote 2 books about the Hootens and he's from England. We have been trying to contact any of the Vanhootens in England, but this is the first thing I have found. Thank you, lee hooten

    Reply: 28 March, 2006 - There are as many versions of "The Windy Van Hooten Show" as there are people that tell it, I love Bunni's version. Some things to be added, in Paris he wanted to guy it out to the Eiffel Tower, but they said no because they saw what happened when they guyed out to the Tower in Pissa Italy. He also took the show to Alaska and trained a troupe of Eskimos, who were worked by Polar Bear. I heard also about a rubber big top that was carried in a suitcase and sretched to any size needed. No matter how it's told it's always a great story. Bill Strong

588. Toby Tyler Circus, 27 April, 2005 - I am trying to get some information regarding a circus called Toby Tyler Circus or Tyler Circus that went around to small towns during the mid 1940's. It was very small and usually had a midway and showed a movie. The only animal I remember was a little monkey. Next year is my hometown 100 year anniversary. I am looking for some advertisement that may have preceeded the event or some information about it. Thank you for your help. My hometown is located in Northern California and is a small farming community. Sincerely, Madrean Benton. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 30 December, 2005 - I saw that circus (Toby Tyler Circus) in the mid-80's with my then small daughters. I shot about 30 minutes of video the show we saw. I just recently made a DVD of those 30 minutes of the show - - the link is a screen capture of one of the beautiful young performers we saw. The had horses, camels, elephants, and more. High trapeze, tumbling, and two rings always going. My kids are grown now and they still remember that day with a smile. Calvin,

587. Schoonjie Van Heeks, Izaack Muller, 27 April, 2005 - Hello from a very wet London England! I am looking for information about my dear old friends relations who were in the circus many years ago (don't know when). Their names are Schoonjie Van Heeks who was a bare back rider and Izaack Muller who was a Strongman. I wonder if through your pages you could possibly help? My name is Maggie Regan and my e mail address is Thanks, Maggie. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

    Reply: 18 July, 2006 - Hello, My name is Sophia van Heeks, living in Amsterdam. My emailadress is I am the last van Heeks of a long line, but I have not found anybody else with this name. I do no that my ancestors worked in the circus, the fair and the theatre ( Sarah Bernard was a daughter of R. van Heeks). Please inform me if there is still somebody else with this name. Greetings, Sophia van Heeks.

    Reply: 20 July, 2006 - Hi, I missed this advert at the time, sorry for that, but seen it now thanks to Judy's listing of new replies (tnx Judy) I think the name wouldn't be Schoonjie, but Schoontje, a common (Jewish) girls name late nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. The Amsterdam variety artist Busnac(h) had a sister named Schoontje. But I don't think she was a bare-back rider. Natasha Gerson

586. Al Sirat Grotto Shrine Circus, 27 April, 2005 - I'm looking for information on the Al Sirat Grotto Shrine Circus in Cleveland, Ohio. Was this an Orrin Davenport show? Where was the show performed at in Cleveland? I know the show was active in the 1940's and 1950's. This may have been the show that Ruby Haag fell from a high act with her web rigging in 1942. Darren Bryan in Georgia, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 28 April, 2005 - You'll find information about the show and references in the endnotes in Shrine Circus by John McConnell. Book can be purchased from him at

585. Olympia Circus, 26 April, 2005 - I am trying to find information about the Olympia Circus. Was it always at Chicago Stadium? The show probably played from 1931 to 1943, as best as I can tell. Darren Bryan in Georgia, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

584. Rose Gold, trapeze, 25 April, 2005 - Can anyone post information about Rose Gold? I believe she fell to her death during a performance at Civic Center in San Francisco in the 1950s. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 25 April, 2005 - Reno Evening Gazette, May 21, 1956. San Francisco, May 21. Vienna-born Rose Gold Pahin fell 40 feet from a trapeze and suffered a broken leg and arm and possible back injuries yesterday at the final performance of the Shrine-Polack Bros. circus at Civic Auditorium. However, she was performing with the Orak Shrine-Polack Bros. circus in Indiana in January 1858. She had two serious falls, one in Sweden circa 1947. Her husband was Andre Pahin who performed with her then. Her second fall was the above. She did miss the rest of the 1956 season due to her injuries. Found on J. Griffin
    Reply: 26 April, 2005 - Polack Bros. Circus was the "class" one ring circus of it's day and played mostly Shrine engagements. In many ways working in this show was like appearing at the "Palace" in Vaudeville. Consequently it enjoyed the cream of circus talent. I was in charge of the show's elephants in the mid 1960's and I once asked the show's owner Louis Stern who the greatest act he ever hired was and without a moments hesitation he replied "Rose Gold".
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - I recall watching the Rose Gold Trio on the Polack Show in the 1950s. She performed in a cradle act with her husband and male partner. Announcer Ross Paul would introduce the act has, "The Aerial Adventures of the Rose Gold Trio." There was a trick in the act were she dropped from the cradle and caught a trapeze bar. Her fall reportedly happened when a photographer's flash momentarily blinded her and she missed the bar. It was one of the great acts that was thrilling every time you watched it.

    Reply: 16 May 2007 - Rose Gold had two partners, her husband André Pahin and another male partner Georges Debackere who was my grandfather. Unfortunately,I have nearly nothing left from him. He worked with Rosegold and her husband for a few years. I know he was with them when they made their show from the Eiffel Tower in 1952 (or 1953?). Could someone help me in my research. I'm a French-42 year-old mother who would like her children to know more about the special life their great grandfather had. It's a missing period in my own life. Any information or advice which could help will be warmly welcome! Thanks a lot!

    Reply: 21 Apr 2008 - During the summer of 1956, when I was a small boy, my family spent weekends camping at the Bonnie Brea Campground, near Lakeport at Clearlake, in Northern California. During a few of these weekend trips, the members of the Rose Gold Trio (Andre, Georges, Rose Gold and Georges wife) were also staying at the campground. This was shortly after Rose Gold's "fall" at the Civic Center in San Francisco. They stayed at the campground for a month or two, so Rose Gold could recoperate from her injury. We looked forward to visiting with them each weekend while they were there. They were all very wonderful & friendly people and had interesting stories to tell, including their performance at the Eiffel Tower. Rose was limping and would sit and rest alot during that time. They were so friendly with everyone and always had a great outlook and smiles on their faces. I often remember those days as very special, and I was only 10 at the time. I have a few photos of Andre, Georges & George's wife, if anyone would like them, please email me at:

    Reply: 27 Jun 2008 - I am the grand niece of Louis Stern. I am reading "Water for Elephants" and am curious if any of the story's characters are based on my uncle's life or if there is any further information on "Uncle Louie" from your readers. Roberta Kay, Nipomo, CA,

    Reply: 01 Mar 2009 - Bonjour, Je suis un des petits neveux de Rose Gold. Ma grand-mère est la sœur de son mari (Pahin). Il est mort l’hiver dernier en Autriche, Rose est décédée il y a une dizaine d’année. Dans la famille on possède quelques archives de leur carrière, et ma grand-mère qui les connaissait très bien est toujours en vie. SI vous avez des questions, je peux vous aider. Hervé Giraud [Attempted translation: Hello, I am a small nephews Rose Gold. My grandmother was the sister of her husband (PAHIN). He died last winter in Austria, Rose died some ten years. In the family we have few records of their career, and my grandmother who was very familiar with is still alive. If you have any questions, I can help you. Hervé Giraud]

    Reply: 25 Apr 2009 - Hello. I was researching this photo postcard that I have of the Rose Gould Trio that I am going to sell on eBay and I came across this posting on the Circus Historical Society website. The postcard shows what I believe to be Rose, her husband André Pahin and Georges Debackere. It is autographed by Rose and has a message on the back saying “Many thanks for your nice letter, I feel very fine now. Yours, Rose Gould”, which is perhaps referring to her 1956 trapeze fall in San Francisco since this is where I first acquired the postcard. If you are interested in the postcard, I can sell it directly to you on eBay. Otherwise, here's enlarged photos of the postcard: Chris Rooney

583. Rudy Dockey, basketball playing boxer dogs, 25 April, 2005 - Does anyone have any photos or any information about them? Would appreciate help with this. Rudy was a dear friend of my dad and he has passed on. Now the questions! Thank you! Lory Pham, Illinois. e-mail Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 29 November, 2005 - I met Rudy Dockey at a campground outside of Atlantic City when I was a young boy of about 12,13. My parents took to us to Atlantic City for the week. I will never forget Rudy, he was really proud of his dogs and he gave me a signed picture, I thought wow, I know a movie star or at least a famous person. My dad was especially happy to have met him. As my mother and the rest of us kids (2 brothers and a sister) get together and talk my mom always remembers Rudy Dockey. I am 55 now so it's been 42 to 43 years ago. Ray Albertson

    Reply: 28 March, 2006 - I love to talk about Rudy Dockey, in my opinion he was one of the great showmen of our time, he was a grossly underated clown and in his younger days an acrobat. When clowning he would step backward out of his shoes, (admittedly over sized) and do a gainer back somersault landing in his shoes. He could get music out of anything, for example several Coke bottles taped together and filled with varying amounts of water, he would blow over them and it sounded like a flute. When he stretched the neck of a balloon full of air, it sounded like a "Stratavarius". Knowing him made it worth being here. Bill Strong

582. Trapeze accident, 1973 Ringling Bros., 25 April, 2005 - I was wondering if anyone had information and old articles from 1973 about a trapeze accident that happened at Ringling Bros circus. The artist involved was Mary Gill. Thanks, Taylor. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 30 May, 2005 - I know Mary Gill. She now lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and is ok. Robert Perry, Australia

    Reply: 30 Sep 2007 - Mary Gill was married to my cousin Stanley and I last saw her in the late 80's when she lived in Sydney - she was fine. Article of accident was in Life Magazine in the 70s. Gabrielle Shepperd, Victoria Australia

    Reply: 24 Mar 2011 - Thank you for responding to the question about Mary Gill. I was an eight year old child in the audience on the day of her accident. I was very traumatised by the incident, but being young, I never did find out what happened to 'the circus lady who fell'. I have my answer today. She's alive and well. I'm soooo happy to hear it. For years, it has bothered me, always wondering. I was too young to read papers. Thank God for the web. An almost 40 year old question has been put to rest. Hazel Lebrun

    Reply: 05 Jul 2011 - Hazel I can not believe you actually witnessed the horrible event. Mary is my aunty and I have been trying to find any old articles or hear any stories from people who new about her or the Flying Waynes. Although she has told me storys growing up I guess there are still moments she does not wish to relive. I have found a couple of books but that is about it so far. If anyone has any memorabilia with her in it I would be very interested in it. Thank you Taylor,

    Reply: 08 Aug 2011 - My name is Vincent Dillmann. I was the catcher for the Flying Wayne's when Mary fell due to a rigging failure. Your message is old, but I just saw it. If I can help I am at Tell Mary I said hello. Regards, Vincent a dolman

    Reply: 01 Oct 2011 - Hello all, this message in particularly is for Taylor. I am sitting with Emily King. Emily married Mervyn King of the original Silvers Circus in Australia and also performed 5 acts. Emily is now 83 and is my neighbour. I was just showing Emily the wonders of the internet and we came across this message board. Taylor, Emily has a rare photo with your Aunt Mary in it. The photo is taken at Rushcutters Bay Park in Sydney Australia with Wirth’s Circus, there is also a German girl in the photo named Crystal who was doing the flying act. Mary hadn’t started the flying act as yet and she was doing acts such as swinging ladders, riding the Elephants and Trampoline (with Stan Gill who she later married); Emily is also in the photo. The photo was taken approximately in 1952. Emily is happy to share this photo so I will scan a copy and send it to your email address. All the best, Michael

    Reply: 27 Oct 2012 - My Uncle is Stan Gill Jnr. He was married to Mary many years ago when they worked in the US for RBBB. He is still in touch with Mary. She will be mentioned in a biography that I am currently writing on my Grandmother, Kitty Gill (Stan’s mother). Like Mary, she was also a great trapeze artist, and also fell while she was working with Bullen’s Circus in Brisbane back in 1967. She spent the better part of 2 years in hospital, and had 17 operations, mainly on her right arm/hand. Both ladies were absolutely amazing in their craft. Kitty was also known as the ‘Queen of the Rodeo’, and won the World Championships for lady buckjump riding in 1945, 1947 and 1951. If anyone has any stories, photos or memorabilia of her, I would really welcome it. The book is due out in 2013 and captures a truly colourful and amazing life. Kitty recently passed away in Cairns on 21 Sept 2012, aged 90. She was a true legend in every sense. Regards Tania Maden

581. Nat. Sebastian, 25 April, 2005 - I came across a set of photos of an acrobat performance that appears to be held on the streets of a well industrialized U.S. city circa 1900 (possibly a business/banking district). I would love to learn more about them, naturally, but the only thing I have to go on is a large banner outside a tent behind the acrobats that reads "Nat. Sebastian Headquarters for Politicians, Turks, Actors, Clerks." This sounds like a fascinating organization - ever heard of it? Much thanks, Jennifer Cline Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

580. Eph Thompson's trained elephant herd, 25 April, 2005 - Would anyone know what exactly became of Eph Thompson's Herd of Acrobatic, Comedy and Military Elephants"? It was reported in the papers that while recovering from a illness, he voyaged from New York to Germany in June 1908, with his herd of famous elephants. Some of his elephants were, "Mary, the only elephant ever taught to somersault", and also "Johnnie, the original "Soldier Boy". A undated photograph shows Eph Thompson in the ring with at least six elephants, doing the long mount. One of the elephants at the front of the line, is a young tusked male. (reportly Eph Thompson died in early 1909 while visiting Egypt.) Were the elephants sold to Carl Hagenbeck's circus in Germany? Were they later brought back to America? Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 27 April, 2005 - I am Eph Thompson's great grandson and I am interested to know if the photo that you describe is from the l'hippodrome de l'Alma and if there is any way that I might obtain a copy of it. Any help would be gratefully received.

    Reply: 24 May, 2006 - Would appreciate any information on my great grand father Eph Thompson, especially that of the photo that you have. ray perkin,

    Reply: 16 January, 2007 - My name is Thierry Hegelmann. I am living in France, but my Grand-father and my Grand-Mother were German and worked at the Deutsch Hagenbeck Circus between 1900 and 1920; they meet during this time, and my father was born in Berlin in 1915. The Hagenbeck Circus keep working at least until 1940. So, I am looking to find any information about this circus and the people working at, in the way to find were my Grand-Parents lived. Because the city of Berlin was destroyed, there is no more records about them. My father doesn't find anything and he died 4 weeks ago. I would appreciate if someone could give me some information. Thierry Hegelmann

    Reply: 19 January, 2007 - That particular photograph of Eph Thompson in the ring with the elephants had been published in the German book, Dokumentation Tiel 2:NordAmerika (page 17, I believe). I think you can order a copy from the web site Rufus Ledbetter,

    Reply: 26 Jan 2008 - The last reference I could find of any mention of Eph Thompson's trained elephants performing in America was when the act was booked to play vaudville at the Grand Opera House in Brooklyn New York during October 1907. There is a listing in an advertisement of "Thompson's Elephants' performing with the Frank A. Robbins Circus during August 1914 in America. If these were in fact Eph Thompson's original elephants,they may have been in Europe from 1908 until 1914? Its well known that the Frank Robbins show featured many former Adam Forepaugh show elephants too. Kenton C.

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579. Yankee Robinson puzzle, 24 April, 2005 - If anyone has tried to solve the Yankee Robinson Rebus puzzle at, there is a partial solution to the last two lines of this clever bit of advertising. J. Griffin. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

578. Miller, Yates, Sands & Co., 23 April, 2005 - I found this statement posted on the website for the Lakeview Museum and was wondering if anyone had any more information about this particular circus? "Peoria has been a favorite destination for circuses for more than 160 years. Arriving by wagon, then steamboat and finally by railroad and truck, hundreds of circuses large and small have come and gone. Nearly every major circus performer has played in Peoria since the Miller, Yates, Sands & Co. Menagerie and Circus Combined first arrived in 1837." Dan Atwell. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 26 April, 2005 - The title was Menagerie and Circus United. The partners were Miller, Yale and Sands. Newspaper ads sometimes wrote Yates instead of Yale, but it was Enoch Yale. Most of the route is in the Thomas Bennett diary at the Harvard Theater Library. Roster was filled with future greats. Diary begins with Carrollton, Illinois on June 9, ends with Fairfield, Illinois on November 11. From there the troupe traveled 110 Miles to St. Louis, and joined Cole & Co. to form Cole, Miller, Yale & Co. and perform in St. Louis until December 20. They played Peoria on July 9. Best. S.

577. Murray Hill, 23 April, 2005 - Would like more information on on Murray Hill and his acts. Does anyone know where I can find out more? Thanks Dawn. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 24 April, 2005 - You an find out more about Murray Hill at his animal retirement website, Bob Cline,
    Reply: 27 April, 2005 - There's a photo of Hill and a paragraph about his Wisconsin-related circus activities on page 126 of the book "Badger State Showmen." There's also a file of collected information about him in the research files for that book, housed in the CWM [Circus World Museum] Library. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 10 March, 2006 - You can contact me directly at or check our site at Murray

576. Circus Train Wrecks, 23 April, 2005 - I am currently involved w/a research project on circus train mishaps. In the Sept-Oct 1975 issue of Bandwagon (pages 18-22) is Fred D Pfening Jr's artice about same. Within that article are a couple of references to other studies and notes. One is referenced as Stuart Thayer's ONE SHEET. The other states that circus historians A. Morton Smith & Charlie Campbell have made a study of circus train mishaps. As time permits would you or someone be able to advise as to where I might locate both Thayer's ONE SHEET and the study done by Smith & Campbell? Thanking you in advance, Danny McLean. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 25 April, 2005 - There is also a listing of carnival train mishaps and image coverage in Bob Goldsack's book "Those Wonderful, Colorful and Exciting Carnival Trains," pages 101-108. Many often confuse circus and carnival operations. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 26 April, 2005 - There's a file on circus train wrecks in the vertical file in the CWM Library. [Circus World Museum Parkinson Library] It contains the Smith article, which originally appeared in the magazine Hobbies. Harry Bowman's booklet "As Told on a Sunday Run" [n.d., 1942?] also has a list of mishaps. The CWM vertical file also contains a list of wrecks compiled by Don Francis, which includes period citations. It's the most comprehensive of any of the compilations. Thayer's "One Sheet" article was in Bandwagon and pertains to the 1903 Great Wallace wreck in Michigan. Check the article index on this website in the 1970s-1980s. There's also Warren Reeder's book length treatment of the 1918 HW Hammond Wreck, "No Performances Today." If a specific wreck is your focus, identifying it would be helpful. A Barnum show superintendent was named McLean, if that's of any interest. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - I have a photo copy of the St. Paul MN, Saturday Morning newspaper, dated August 8, 1903, concerning the Wallace Brother's train wreck. Besides describing the wreck, it gives a detailed list of the dead and seriously injured. Also have photo copies of two post cards from B.E. Wallace informing my great-great-grand-parents that my great-great-uncle was not injured in the wreck. I also believe that I have a photo taken at the scene of the wreck, the photo shows some of the dead animals and debris along the track as well as train car. It you are interested in a copy please let me know at -- LeRoy Alaways

575. 1925 Model T Circus Car, 23 April, 2005 - I have a 1925 Model T Circus Car which I purchased at a Circus auction 25 years ago and I've had it in storage ever since. I am searching for information about this car or one like it (if there is another one). The car has two front ends joined together - it has two Front Windshields - two Front Seats - two Steering Wheels - two front dash boards - and, of course no rear ends. It was designed so that two Clowns would be able to sit it it - facing in opposite ditections - and "battle" over which direction the car would be driven. It is Fire Engine Red....and is located just outside of New York City. I would very much appreciate hearing any information you might have about this or a similar car (if there ever was anything similar). Thank you very much. Andrew Smith. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 25 April, 2005 - The first step in determining the provenance is to identify where and when you bought it (which circus auction?). That provides a starting point for any search. Fred Dahlinger

574. Small circus collection, 22 April, 2005 - I recently purchased some documents that appear to be a small collection of personal history of a person that may have been part of a circus in the early 1900's. I bought them because I felt they needed a better home than at a antique store in Van Wert Ohio. I was hoping to locate the family of the collector. But in reviewing I did not find enough info to locate the author creator of this very small collection of papers. This is what is included. 1) R.T. Richards Circus 1917 - F.M. Farrell, Ithaca, N.Y., two pages typed. 2) 1921 Route of the season of Rhonda Royal's Circus. Includes what RR used. 3) Pictures that look like they copies of the originals taken in the 1950's of: Rhoda Royals Circus 1921; R.T. Richards Circus; Dan Rice Circus (photo of Ad); ? & Go's Monster Circus; 1890 Rentz Bros & Ortan 1890. 4) Dan Rick Circus 1872 typed one paragraph. 5) Russell Bros. Circus 3 typed paragraphs. 6) W. B. Reylonds 3 paragraphs hand written. I am interested in learning more about these items. Kyla Eversman, OH, [Note: message author is not trying to sell or determine the value of this material.] Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

573. First circus without animals, 21 April, 2005 - My second of a trio of questions for the CHS may prove more challenging than the first (about one-ring shows). I have traced the first circus without animals to the Pickle Family Circus of San Francisco, founded in 1974. However, prior to that time, it appears that at least some performances produced by the Sarasota Sailor Circus, with whom I am now in contact, were animal-free as well. Regardless, am I correct about the Pickles or the Sailors - or can somebody name a circus operating at least before either of those two shows, anywhere in the world, post-Phillip Astley era, that did not include at least one animal in it? (Please, not the Chinese acrobats, etc.). Your feedback will be much appreciated. David Lewis Hammarstrom, Oakland. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - By definition, a circus includes both humans and animals, staging a planned performance in a ring. If it has no animals, is it a circus? Without a ring, is it a circus? Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 04 June, 2005 - Sailor Circus did have a liberty act presented by the son of the Moroskowskis (spelling) (from Ringling Show) in its earlier years, and later Barbara Lee, wife of Sailors Coach, Bill Lee, presented her dog act and, I believe, dog and pony act, for Sailor Circus. They were kept on Sarasota High School property for years and everyone enjoyed them as "house acts". bunni bartok
    Reply: 05 June, 2005 - Thanks, Bunni, and right you are about the animals on the Sailor Circus. A 1954 Saturday Evening Post story about the Sailors that I recently came across (in, of all places, an old scrapbook of mine!), talks about "dancing horses, performing Shetland ponies" with an adjoining photo of Emerich Mroczkowski grooming a pony. The current Sailor folks, by the way, have informed me of some of these acts. So, all roads to a no-animals circus still lead to the Pickles in S.F., 1974. David

    Reply: 27 March, 2006 - Greetings from Palm Springs, There was a circus in St. Petersburg, Fla. in the 50's, 60s, etc. And I never heard of animals. Run by the Parks and Recreation Dept., I think. Good luck, Ray, Flying LaRays, Ret.

    Reply: 08 Jul 2011 - Although your inquiry is old, just yesterday I found a copy of The Pickle Clowns, New American Circus Comedy, by Joel Schechter. I read it last night and you might enjoy reading it. It's very accurate of that San Francisco era of theatrical circus. I was there, working as a more traditional clown at fairs, circus, parties and street. Very talented people, Bill Irwin as Willy the Clown being my favorite. He was brilliant and magical and has gone on to big time success as a serious actor, with a Tony for Best Actor in a Play. Bill also recently played Nate Haskell, psycho in a reoccurring role for CSI. He was amazing, considering who he is and his background as Willie the Clown. It should be in summer reruns now. Mesha

    Reply: 14 Jul 2011 - In reply to Fred Dahlinger. I am afraid that the old title is being twisted into all shapes over here. Of course, the past theatres had stage circuses with a ring on the stage. Half the shows here are now without animals and some are approaching a cabaret style with some clowns performing more adult kind of humour. These shows now have a working area of low staging. The trend too is for a square working area! How can one have a square ring? I suppose they can squeeze in more seating. It does seem that tradition is not thought highly about any more. Tom Sandow

572. Helen Mathews, Girl With Very Long Hair, 21 April, 2005 - This is probably an impossible request but I am going to ask anyway. It regards a picture in the possession of my family and also another family. Sometime before 1922, there was a lovely young woman with long hair down to her feet. The only thing written on the back of the picture was "Helen Mathews, hair 6 feet, 4 inches." The photographer was a Wendt in Boonton NJ. The families connected with the possession of the picture are from Arkansas. Do you have knowledge or have any ideas of determining whether Helen Mathews was a traveling entertainer before 1922 in Arkansas? With the photographer being from NJ and her very long hair makes me think the girl was an entertainer. Any comments and ideas are welcome, Barb. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 13 June, 2005 - I, too, have a photo produced by Wendt in Boonton, N.J. of a "little person" (midget) by the name of Bertha Carnihan. She is listed on the Little People website as having been an entertainer but I do not know in what capacity. Could Wendt have been a circus photographer? The photograph has written on the back, "Bertha Carnihan Age 27 years Wt. 38 lbs." Martha Cook, Longwood, FL

    Reply: 27 February, 2007 - I see a copy of this very same picture of Helen Mathews in the book A Ticket to the Circus by Charles Philip Fox, p. 30. This book contains history of the Ringling Brothers Circus and the picture of Helen is included on a page that states she was one of the side show acts of the wagon show days. Copy of the photo from Circus World Museum. McGregor Public Library,

571. Magyar Pusztai, 21 April, 2005 - I would like any information on the Magyar Pusztai Hungarian springboard acrobats. In the 1950's and the 60's they travelled the world playing at the Royal Variety performance in London and the Follies Bergere's in Paris. They then went on to work in the Dunes hotel in Las Vegas, and they were regarded as the best sptringboard acrobats of their time. Any information would be most appreciated. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 25 April, 2005 - You know of course, I supposed that Magyar Pusztai means Hungarian Post, as it also says on stamps etcetera. But the Hungarian Post in circus is an act where one man stands on the backs of two horses at the same time. Why a springboard group would be called Magyar Pusztai is a mystery to me. Despite your mention of great successes here, I've found nothing in Europe on a group with this name at all. Are you sure you got it right? Couldn't the name be Magyar Molnar because that is a Hungarian group of (jump) acrobats? Of course Pusztai is also a surname, could it be a joke?
    Reply: 01 June, 2005 - Looking for something else, I found, in the 1939 German Künstler Almanach an advertisement showing a smiling young couple in folkloristic dress with a bowribboned dog, named Pusztay & Comp. Doesn't say what they did. Permanent address was given as Pestszentlöring Ganztelep Szent István Tér 11 Hungary. Natasha Gerson
    Reply: 22 November, 2005 - Just picked this up. Well, the troupe did exist known as 'The Great Pusztai Troupe' and I well remember them. I'm looking at two pictures of them in the 1959 programme of Blackpool Tower Circus in England. Appear to be seven in the act. They returned in 1963. The year before they had appeared before the Queen at The Royal Variety Performance 29 October 1962 called 'The Great Magyar Pusztai Troupe though they reverted to their original name for the following Blackpool season. They were very highly rated. Other troupes appeared along the way but they are the one who' remembered. So what did happen to them after Vegas? Tony James England

    Reply: 05 Sep 2007 - Hello, me name is Joe Pusztai. I am the last from the family, sorry for me english. I am plattes spinners not acrobat like the reste of me familly. Pusztai name is the performer name the realy name is Hadnagy. 13 brother and sister, most die. If you need pictures or oder thing, don't hesitate to contact me. Thanks Joe,

    Reply: 24 Oct 2008 - Hello my name is Jancsi Hadnagy whose father was in the Pusztai troupe, Joe Pusztai is my cousin and would like any information as to his whereabouts at the current time. The last time I saw my cousin would be approximately 35 years ago and have never been in contact since, I have tried the e-mail address but it appears to be wrong. I would greatly appreciate it if anyone has any information to e-mail me at, thanks

570. Rudy Dockey, trained dogs, 21 April, 2005 - Does anyone have information or photos about Rudy Dockey and his boxer dogs that played basketball in circus shows and also on the Ed Sullivan show? My dad was a dear friend of his. I wonder what has happened to Rudy? Is he is still living? My dad has passed away and now the questions! Rudy was a very talented man and I remember watching the dogs on tv when I was little. I would really appreciate some help in bringing back this memory of my dad's friend. thank you!!! Lory Pham, Illinois. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 17 June, 2005 - Rudy Dockey is probably no longer living. He was a good friend of my family, and we were given puppies as gifts when we were small. I remember seeing him on the Pollock Bros. Circus in either the late 60's or early 70's and he was getting quite elderly then.

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569. Zanettos, 21 April, 2005 - My Great Grandfather was called William Bale and he was a juggler with the Zanettos. As yet I can find very little info on the Zanettos. I know that they performed at the Royal Cambridge Theatre and he used to catch a ball with a fork in his teeth. He also threw knives, and I think did some magic as well. It is a family story that they performed for the Czar in St Petersburg and he became an Honorary Chief of an American Indian nation. Any way has any body heard of them? Thanks Gary My e-mail address is Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

    Reply: 10 April, 2006 - I have a picture of them. Somehow we must be related via the Bales as my grandmother was Dorothy Bale. Please communicate! Chris Rayner, Malvern UK

    Reply: 17 September, 2006 - Replying to requests for info on 21st April & 23 July 2005. William Bale was my grandfather and I have got quite a lot of my line of his family tree logged on the genes united site. I have it back to 1809 at the moment. Log on there and you could share it. normanallen,

    Reply: 25 September, 2006 - Chris Rayner: Hi I would love to communicate as I am now in touch with many of the descendants of the Zanetto/Bale family. How do I do this? My e-mail address is Hope to hear from you. Thanks, Gary Bale

568. Manx Giant, Col. Ruth Goshen, 20 April, 2005 - I am trying to research the "Manx Giant" also known as Arthur Caley from the Isle of Man (b. 1829, d.1853). He also went by Colonel Ruth Goshen. He lived in Middlebush, New Jersey during the time he was in the Barnum & Bailey Circus. I'm looking for any information you may have on him. My e-mail address is Thank you, Bonnie Johnson. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - Goshen is fairly well known, identified in various photographic images, such as cartes de visite, and Barnum show advertising materials. Slout's "Olympians of the Sawdust Circle," page 114, states real name Routh Goshen, born May 5, 1837, died February 12, 1889, Bright's disease and dropsy, Clyde, NJ. Known as the "Palestine Giant," Arabic parents, youngest of 14 or 15 children. Barnum apparently hired him for his museum after encountering him on the streets of New York. Advertised as 7'-6", shoulder 2'-6" and waist 77," weight 560 pounds. Aggrandized by appearing with dwarfs. Associated with Barnum circus 1879-1880 and Nathans & Co. 1882. I suspect that you would readily find more about him in books about Barnum by Arthur Saxon and the Kunhardts. A check of the "New York Times" via ProQuest and also George C. D. Odell's multi-volume "Annals of the New York Stage" would provide additional references. A quick Google search would suggest that Caley is entirely unrelated to Goshen. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - Are you sure you are not confusing two different giants? According to my notes, Colonel Ruth Goshen was known as the"Arabian Giant" and according to contempory newspaper accounts (The Brooklyn Eagle 1879), Col. Ruth Goshen was born in the city of Jerusalem, Palestine around 1836. Of Hebrew and Turkish extraction. Were he was a veteran of Turkish Army and had fought in the Crimean War,the war of Italian Independence, and the campaign of Maxmillian in Mexico. As a result of this he was shot some 17 times (sounds like he forgot to duck) in the early 1860's, he was discovered by P.T Barnum while visiting abroad, and brought to America, where for a time he was on exhibit at the American Museum in NYC. His height is reported to have been 7'8" inches tall. (however another source lists him as being 7'11" tall, with a chest measurement of 91 inches, and 95 inches around the waist. He appeared in the later 1870's at the Olympic Theatre located no.430 Fulton St. new York City. The newspaper article I found this was written in 1879, so Im not sure when he died. Its mentioned that he owned a farm at Clyde Station New York state, so you may want to contact them for more information concerning his life. BTW The 1879 article about him was written about his wife running off with another man, and also abscounding with Col. Goshen's trick goat!

    Reply: 26 Oct 2009 - Hi, I believe you are looking for information on the Manx Giant Arthur Caley/Col Routh Goshen. I am from the Isle of Man and a descendant of Arthur Caley. In a few weeks a book THE AMAZING STORY OF ARTHUR CALEY The MANX GIANT will be published and I have provided much of the research for this. The book explains many of the inconsistencies regarding his past. I hope this is helpful. Please contact me if I can help with any further info. Carlton Mealin

567. Downie Bros. circus, 20 April, 2005 - I have been reading through the web site and wanted you to know how much I like the information. I was wondering if you could assist me in a piece of Circus history please? I have a friend who was asking about the dates the Downie Bros. Circus and Tent Shows were active in the U.S. Would you have the exact dates please? He has an old photo dating back to 1922 in Watertown, New York. I appreciate you help and thank you again for the great site. All the best, Gary, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 21 April, 2005 - According to the files printed in the Circus Fans periodical the White Tops in the early 1960's, Andrew Downie took his first show on the road in 1884 entitled Downie & Austin. The Downie title came and went over the years even though he was involved in one form or another. His more noted achievements were in the later years with Downie and Wheeler from 1911 to 1913, Downie in 1914 to 1915, LaTena (named after his wife I believe) in 1917, the Walter L. Main Circus from 1918 to 1924 and Downie Bros. Circus from 1925 to 1930. Andrew Downie passed away Dec. 17, 1930. Hope this helps. Bob Cline,
    Reply: 22 April, 2005 - You should confirm and verify that the photo is of Downie Bros or the Walter L. Main Show. In 1922 the Downie Bros title was not used, and the Walter L. Main Circus did not play Watertown, New York. The Walter L. Main Circus did play Watertown, NY on May 22, 1923. From the Ted Bowman Route Collection
    Reply: 16 June, 2005 - Two photos of the "Downie's Walter L. Main Circus" parade in Ogdensburg NY in 1922 were posted to You can see the stamp in the upper corner of the one photo. Just search for last name 'circus!' Great piece of photo history.

566. Old Circus Elephants, 18 April, 2005 - I was going through a photo album on the internet and Wirth's Circus had at least six circus elephants in Australia in the 60's and from the photos there were at least a dozen more belonging to different circuses. Does anyone know what happened to all of Australia's elephants or how I can get in touch with someone that owns or owned elephants in Australia. And I am looking for history on The Bullen's Brothers Circus. Does anybody know how I can get in touch with Brenton Bullen. Jarret Towns, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 19 April, 2005 - Here is some info concerning the career of at least one Australian cirus elephant. "Jodee" - Indian female. 1950-1963 Wirth Bros. circus in Australia 1963-1968 Sole Bros. circus died Aug.23.1968 at Newcastle NSW after a fall (road accident) source Don Marks/Circus Report/Elephant history/1993. Also it may interest you, that about 10 years ago an artist dug up this elephant skeleton that was buried along the road in Rural New South Wales, articulated it, added something to it, and it was displayed at the School of Fine Art Gallery of the University of Newcastle, Australia. I do not know if the skeleton is still on exhibit in the gallery,but you can see photographs of it over at K.C.

    Reply: 29 November, 2006 - Hi, I have vived memories of the elephants from Bullen Bros circus spending their off season every year in a paddock at Cambridge st Lidcombe Sydney around the 49s and 50s. As Dorathy Bullen lived in our street and she used to look after them she was a friend of my mother phillys maurice. barry m

    Reply: 17 Oct 2016 - I am Ray Bullen's Grand daughter. He was Stafford Bullen's nephew and spent time with the circus when he was younger. I can put you in touch with which ever part of the family you wish if you are still looking? I believe one elephant still survives today and is living at the Steve Irwin zoo in Australia. Craig and Zellie Bullen own a safari Park and Zellie trains horses for movies such as war horse. I believe Cleo is still alive she was always with the elephants. Abc did a family dynasties documentry on them too which you may be able to find online. Hope that helps. Kind regards, Kylie King

    Reply: 02 Mar 2008 - Hi, I am pretty sure Brenton llives at Steve Irwins Australia Zoo, so he can still be near his Elephants. My husband worked for Bullens for many years from when he was a youngster, he's 71 now, he used to run away to Bullens, and this is where I met him, I also joined for a little while when Stafford took his part of the circus away on its own. I am starting to gather information on Bullens as I find it, mainly to add to Bobs family history. Please keep in touch, as we may be able to help one another gather info. Cheers, Gay Ritter, Redcliffe, Queensland.

565. Australian circus, 18 April, 2005 - My name is Susan Barrett and my mother is Jean Barrett. My father, who passed away two years ago, was born in Shanghai in 1918 and his mother was born to a bare back circus performer from Australia, who went with the circus to Shanghai around 1890. She was brought out to Australia to join a circus, the name of which we are trying to seek, by her uncle. She subsequently met and married her husband in Shanghai during the trip and stayed there with him. Her name was Rhoda Johnson. She returned to Sydney, where she died of illness in in her 40's. We live in Perth WA and my email address is Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 03 July, 2005 - Hi from Sydney. As one of Australia's few circus historians, I may be able to assist. Do you know the name of the circus? Do you know what name she went under? Mark St Leon, Australia,

564. P. J. Visser, 16 April, 2005 - I have a photograph of a man, who traveled around the US with "The Main Show", around 1910, possibly a few years before, or a few years later, who was a Captain for the South African Johannesburg Scouts, during the Boer War, 1899-1901, whose name is P.J. Visser. He was 6'8 1/2 inches tall, and was known as "The white terror" to the Africans, and traveled around with this Circus, simular to Tom Cruise, in the movie "The Last Samurai". The photo is of this man, and has a newspaper clipping glued to the back, which is from a period (1900's) newspaper, no date visible, but mentions "Huntington", which I am guessing is Huntington, West Virginia. Does anyone have any more information on this man, or the traveling show he was part of? My name is Ted Welch, in Bloomington, Indiana. My email address is Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 19 April, 2005 - You're likely seeking the circus owned and operated by Walter L. Main (1862-1950) out of Geneva, Ohio. It was operational from the mid-1880s through the end of 1904, when it was sold to William P. Hall and the name changed accordingly. It did not tour in 1900. Main was involved with other shows thereafter (1906 Cummins Wild West, Howard Damon, etc.) and also leased his name to other showmen as late as the 1930s. Louis E. Cooke's story of his career was printed in Bandwagon about 1967. You can find the two parts in the article index on this website. Back copies may be available for purchase. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 20 April, 2005 - I believe you are referring to the Boer War Spectacular, which was originally brought over to U.S.A, by the South African circus man Fred Fillis, for the 1904 World's Fair held in St. Louis. It was a actual recreation of the Anglo-Boer war (1899-1902) using some 400 Afrikaner and English veterans of it, including Dutch hero, General Piet Cronje and General Ben Viljoen, also used were the actual guns and uniforms. The recreation was on 12 acres of land (performances twice a day) including in the cast were about 250 Swazi's and Zulu's and other African peoples,recreation of their villages. The show was so successful at the 1904 World's Fair, that it was taken on the rails to tour America in 1905. It wintered in Lancaster Missouri. (not only had William P. Hall supplied the 350 horses and mules for the 1904 Boer War show in St. Louis, he also supplied the horses and mules for the real war back in South Africa 1899-1902. As popular as the Boer War circus was, it didn't tour in 1906 because the Dutch and English veterans could not get along together. You can see a number of images and photo's of the Boer War show on the St. Louis public library web site(
    Reply: 20 April, 2005 - Actually there were two Boer wars, the first one "The Transvaal War" lasted 1880-1881, The second, "The South African War" lasted 1899-1902. General Piet Cronje was a veteran of both wars. He was 69 years old in 1904. Most if not all the recreated battles I believe were from the second Anglo-Boer War. A interesting bit of trivia,the first black Africans to ever particulate in any the modern Olympics (which were also being held in St.Louis in 1904) were two Tswana tribesmen who were also students at the Orange Free State University in South Africa, who took time off the show to run in the Olympics. There was a book published in 1998 by Floris Vander Merwe titled, Die Boere-Sirkus van St.Louis (1904), but its written in Afrikaner according to the web page I got this info from.
    Reply: 25 April, 2005 - There's another possible explanation for the title "Main Show." John T. Backman staged a trained animal circus as a back end show on the C. A. Wortham Best Shows, a railroad carnival, in 1916. At the top of the show front was the title "Main Show." The same title might have appeared on other back end shows. A photograph of it is in Billboard, December 16, 1916, page 107, with the cast and crew posed in front of it. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 11 May, 2005 - A Boer War show was produced in 1905 at Brighton Beach, situated to the east of West Brighton, which is what most people popularly term "Coney Island." E. H. Harriman's brother was involved, as was promoter William Brady. Good coverage of the production is found in John L. Marsh, "The Greatest Show on Earth, or A Reasonable Facsimile," Journal of Popular Culture, VII, 3 (Winter 1973), pages 501-509. If Visser was a high profile person, likely he'll be found somewhere in the New York Times index, and that might identify his show affiliation. A check of Ellis Island materials might also prove useful. Fred Dahlinger

563. Elephants, Australia, 16 April, 2005 - I am trying to find a list of all cicuses in Australia that have in the past and currently travel with elephants. Is there anyone that knows how I could get in contact with people in Australian circuses that have or still do travel with elephants. Thanks. I am trying to set up a history of elephants in Australia at my new park and I would like to tell people how many elephants are in the Australian region. Regards, Jarret Towns, Big Cat Centre, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 16 April, 2005 - You may want to contact the European Elephant Group at and ask them. I believe I heard somewhere that they are in the process of compiling info concerning captive elephant importation into Australia and New Zealand over the last 125 years or so. Possibly the first elephants to have set foot on Australia may have been the elephants with the Cooper& Bailey show, when they went on a 2 year tour to Australia, New Zealand and South America (the circus sailed from San Francisco November 1876 and returned to New York December 1878). Followed in 1880 by a tour of the W.W Cole show (also a American circus) to Australia and New Zealand. I dont know how many elephants were in each herd or if they left any elephants behind for a zoo.
    Reply: 13 May, 2005 - Hi, Robin from Circus Royale Australia. There is a book on this subject. It's reasonable. It's called "Mighty Like an Elephant," limited edition of 200 books, self funded publisher, Bob Cunningham. For more info email me.

562. Walter L. Main Elephant herd, 16 April, 2005 - Would anyone have info concerning the elephants of the original Walter L. Main circus (1885-1904). Reportly when it closed down at the end of the 1904 season at its winter quarters at Geneva Ohio. The Walter L. Main elephants were sold to organizers of the newly formed Carl Hagenbeck Show. How many elephants were sold to the Carl Hagenbeck Show and what were the elephant's names? Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 16 April, 2005 - The Walter L. Main Circus ending in 1904 was sold to William P. Hall. The elephants, Roxy, Jennie, Dixie, Julia, & Lena ( all female Asians ) became famous as the Powers Elephant Act. Bob Cline,

561. Trapeze Act history, 15 April, 2005 - I'm after some historical info on the trapeze. Before Jules Leotard's performance on the flying trapeze in 1859, were there other trapeze acts, e.g. static, swinging trapeze, or was the flying trapeze the first kind of trapeze act? Any help will be appreciated. Kirsten Bishop, Australia, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 15 May, 2005 - The slack rope was the first of the aerial acts. Through the iconography contained in newspaper advertising material we can date the American introduction of the single trapeze to the season of 1856. In that year, two circuses had such acts. Sands, Nathans & Co. had Denzer and Bliss; Flagg & Aymar featured Henry Harris. These men did acrobatics while hanging from the still bar. However, there is record of English performers hanging beneath hot air balloons as early as 1851. In a tented circus the still bar was usually suspended from a spar that jutted out from the center pole. Lacking the impetus provided by swinging, these artists treated the bar much as the horizontal bar was used in later years. As might be expected, their actions were overshadowed by the higher, swinging feats performed on the slack rope. Eventually, the trapeze came to be used as a swing itself. We first find it referred to as the "flying trapeze" in 1864 on the Tom King Circus. The origin of the flying trapeze, but not of its name, lies with Jules Leotard in Paris in 1859. Early trapezes were hung only fifteen feet from the ground. With the adoption of swinging they were suspended at ceiling height. It was then that the flying trapeze began to supplant standing riding as the favorite act of spectators. Stuart Thayer

560. One ring circus, 1900s, 15 April, 2005 - This should be a fun question for all. In connection with my research, I have found that Louis Stern's (and Pollack's) Pollack Bros Circus played their first Shrine date for the Ben Ali Shrine in Sacramento, Calif. in 1935. A one-ring presentation. My question: What was the first circus to present a one-ring operation in the twentieth century, if NOT Pollack? This is not a trick question. I am endeavoring to verify a fascinating big of info, on Pollack beginning a long-in-the making trend back to a single ring. Were they that revolutionary way back then? Can anybody out there confirm if I am right, or give me another circus, with the first date it put out a one-ring show, say, after the golden age, after 1900. Looking forward, David Lewis Hammarstrom, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 15 April, 2005 - With the building of a number of armories and small arenas in larger towns at the turn of the century they became the new venues for one ring shows. Probably the most noted individual was Edward Shipp out of Petersburg, Illinois. He joined Ringling in 1883 and after breaking his leg was appointed assistant director of the show. During the off season he maintained a ring barn that was used for practice and organized a number of indoor one ring circuses that toured the mid west during the off season from the 1890's on. Starting March 6, 1899 he produced the Detroit Light Guard Comedy Circus which ran for a week. A few years later in 1906 the first one ring Shrine Circus was held in the same building. For the history of the one ring and multiple ring indoor circuses that the Shrine Circus produced read John McConnell's book on the History of the Shrine Circus. John, information from Ted Bowman Route Collection
    Reply: 16 April, 2005 - Message for Ted Bowman. I assume it was you (once with C&B) who answered my question about the first one-ring circus. Anyway, very very helpful. In trying to reconcile contradictory information (your assertion that the first Shrine Circus was presented in 1906 versus two other accounts of the date being 1908, one in Circus Report; the other, in and an old Sat. Eve. Post 1953 story, Vest Pocket Circus), I searched the web for Shriners in Detroit and pulled up historical marker information about the Detroit Light Guard Armory - yes, the first Shrine circus, 1906; also, the first three-ring Shrine Circus was presented in 1925. A little confusing though - the latter factoid is unclear as to which Shrine temple produced that three-ringer. I do not know of the McConnell book, nor do I find it on Amazon. However, when I speak with the Shriner's head office in Tampa, I will try to clarify this. Thanks much! DLH
    Reply: 16 April, 2005 - White Tops, "Detroit First The Mystic Shriners' Yankee Circus," McConnell, John, 1986, Vol. 59, No. 1, p. 7. The book may be "Shrine Circus: a History of the Mystic Shriners' Yankee Circus in Egypt," ISBN: 096360192X, McConnell, John H., Publisher: Detroit: Astley & Ricketts, 1998. J. Griffin
    Reply: 18 April, 2005 - It could be that you reference secondary sources that contain multiple errors, and apparently you have been doing this since 1999 because that is when Ted Bowman passed away. In Detroit the Wheelmen put on a one ring circus, The Moose Lodge sponsored a one ring Circus, The Light Guard Armory put on a one ring circus, and the Moslem Temple sponsored their first one ring Shrine Circus in 1906. The size of the Detroit Light Guard Armory limited the show to one ring, and in 1925 the Detroit Moslem Shrine Circus moved to a new building, the State Fair Coliseum, that was large enough to host a three ring show. Ted Bowman is gone but his circus route collection is still being used in his memory. John Polacsek
    Reply: 19 April, 2005 - Thank you. I had actually seen that McConnell title on Amazon - so different from the title referenced in your message that I did not think it was what I was looking for! DLH
    Reply: 22 April, 2005 - This may help get you on the right track as to one of the first American circuses with a one ring Europeon style format. As far as one ring tented circus goes, I believe Famous Circus Bartok, (America's Largest Circus In The Round), also known as "The Freedom Circus", started in the mid sixties, as a one ring circus with elevated bandstand, under which the artists would enter and exit. It had Ringside chairs, positioned close enough to put one's feet up on the "Ringling Size" ring curb. Las Vegas Style showgirls opened and shut the Glitzy back door curtain and assisted with the acts. This circus brought forth a totally new concept for American Tented Circus. Closed in early 70's. Sincerely, bunni bartok,
    Reply: 24 April, 2005 - My thanks to Bunni Bartok (whose e-mail address did not work when I tried to contact her directly) for her helpful information on Circus Bartok, evidently a valuable early-day contributor to the evolving one-ring movement in the U.S. DLH
    Reply: 25 April, 2005 - There's a good chance that the "one ring circus" never passed from the American scene, despite the popular thought that everything went to three rings (more or less). It's likely that small overland shows, both wagon and motorized, retained the one-ring format after larger railroad shows embraced the multiple ring circus beginning in the 1870s. Not all railroad shows held with two or three rings; the Flatfoots took the Barnum show back to one ring during their tenure. The Forepaugh outfit also came out as one ring in 1894. The best evidence would be to examine interior photography of small, overland shows, both before and after 1900, for visual evidence. The question would be whether they had a ring curb, banner, or other demarcation of the circular ring. The ring furniture may have been discarded because of no need (i.e., no horse act was presented), expense, or deletion of items judged non-essential to their presentation. Dan Rice pined over the loss of the one ring show in an essay reprinted in Maria Ward Brown's biography. It meant the loss of his own format of presentation, as a speaking or singing clown. The topic may also have been addressed in a memoir by one of the Flatfoots. Indoor shows conducted on a theater stage were also likely to be staged in a one-ring format, if they had a ring at all. The question has many twists and turns depending upon definitional issues. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 29 April, 2005 - Thank you, Fred Dahlinger, for your helpful thoughts and information referrals on the one-ring circus issue. DLH
    Reply: 14 May, 2005 - I also tried to contact Bunni at the address listed. I used to work for the Bartok Family in 1971. Hope she got the E-Mail.

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559. 100 Years of Circus Posters, 15 April, 2005 - What can you tell me about a book labled "100 Years of Circus Posters"? By Flare, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 15 April, 2005 - Nice book, I bought it many years ago - large reproductions on every page - nice printing,
    Reply: 23 April, 2005 - Jack Rennert as devoted most of his life to the preservation, propagation and creation of posters. In 1964 he founded Darien House Inc. 100 YEARS OF CIRCUS POSTERS, A Darien House Book 1974. This book is presently listed on Abebook for over $200. In 1976, Jack Rennert published 100 YEARS OF BUFFALO BILL'S WILD WEST and also 100 YEARS OF MAGIC POSTERS. However, the best opportunity to collect over 2,000 Theatrical Posters from 1840's to 1936 (including magic shows and Imry Kiralfy spectaculars) on CD-ROM at - Giovanni Iuliani

558. Hagenbeck-Wallace Elephant herd, 14 April, 2005 - According to one source, the Hagenbeck-Wallace elephant herd of 1913, totaled 12 elephants. The devastating flood of March 1913 in Miami County, Indiana almost totally wiped out the menagerie at the winter quarters in Peru, Indiana,including 6 or 8 elephants that drowned. Would anyone have a list of the 12 elephants names, ages, gender and species? Which of these elephants survived and which perished? Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 15 April, 2005 - The Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus had 12 elephants on the show in 1912. Tess, Trilby, Jughead nellie, Pinto, Nancy, Zeffa, Bedelia, & Baby were all Female Asians. Satan & Josky were Male Asians. Jumb and Kongo were Female Africans. The flood of 1913 destroyed all but Tess, Jughead Nellie and Pinto. Another young male Asian named Louis was bought from Wm. P. Hall to make 3 females and 1 Male, all Asians making the 1913 tour. Bob Cline,
    Reply: 15 April, 2005 - Thanks, that's an in-depth reply. Would you mind telling me your source? Did the circus have such a thing as elephant registry books back then? It is very difficult to find this type of information just in circus books at the library. Were Jumb and Kongo, West African Forest elephants? What became of Louis afterward? apemonsterman

557. Gentry Circus, 14 April, 2005 - My hobby is medal detecting and I did some research on the Gentry Circus that visited my town of Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 1910 and I can't find the exact location the Gentry Circus was held in Bartlesville, Okla. so I can medal detect to see if I can find some old coins and such! I researched the Gentry Circus at the library and it visited in 1910 and was wondering if you could help me find the exact location it was held? If you can't, what city office that you know of can help me in my quest to find this area? Thank you very much! Kenneth Huddleston, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 19 April, 2005 - The lot location may have been mentioned in the newspaper advertisements placed by the circus, or perhaps in commentary prepared by a reporter before or after the fact. Sometimes the lot location is also given on poster date tags, but that was usually only done in larger cities, and later than 1910. You might also check municipal records to learn if there's a record of the license, which may have specified the site. It's unlikely that any business records survive from the circus itself. Other circuses played Bartlesville, which you can determine by scanning the newspapers (for example, Hagenbeck-Wallace, July 28, 1908; July 26, 1911; and October 3, 1914). Most communities had a known circus grounds that was frequently utilized. Sometimes it's mentioned in local histories or you can deduce it from surviving photography. There is some coverage of circus tokens in the standard reference on the topic, but quite a few others exist that are not included therein. Fred Dahlinger

556. Carl Hagenbeck Circus & Menagerie, 13 April, 2005 - I read in a old circus book, that the Carl Hagenbeck Show tour of 1906,that their menagerie consisted of, 24 cage wagons, 15 Elephants, 6 camels. I would like to know if any of the route books list the names, ages, gender and species of the 15 elephants? Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 15 April, 2005 - In the fall of 1906 after the Carl Hagenbeck show folded in Mexico, Ben Wallace, the owner of the Great Wallace Circus, bought the 15 elephants from Carl Hagenbeck. They were Mom, Topsy, Trilby, Jughead Nellie, Betty, Pinto, Nancy, Zeffa, Bedelia, & Baby. These were all Female Asians. Monte, Satan & Josky were all Male Asians. Jumb & Kongo were Female Africans. Mr. Wallace resold, Monte, Topsy, and Mom shortly thereafter with the other twelve joining the four (Robbins Queen, Tess, Mama, & Ding, all Asian females) he still had and becoming the herd of the new Hagenbeck-Wallace title. Bob Cline,
    Reply: 19 July, 2005 - My grandfather and great uncles performed with Carl Hagenbeck Circus in 1906. They were bare back riders. I would be very interested in any information you can give me on that show's season. My Family went under the name of either, The Sandor Karoly Rider Troupe or The Royal Hungarian Karoly Rider Troupe. Thank's for any info you have. Erny M. Karoly,

555. Mighty Haag Show, Georgia, 12 April, 2005 - I am trying to find the date that the Mighty Haag Shows was in Dublin Georgia. It was probably between the 1910's and 1930's. Darren Bryan in Georgia, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

554. Endy Circus, 12 April, 2005 - I am an Endy who grew up in Pennsylvania and would like to research that circus but have not found any reference to it in the 500 messages or White Tops Indexes. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Joan Endy Childers, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 12 April, 2005 - I did a quick look on It seems to have been the Endy Bros. Shows and Thrill circus. Another mention, Endy Bros Show and carnival. Found in 1940s, a Fair midway show. If so, you'd want to look at carnival and midway shows, e.g., McKennon, Joe, "A Pictorial History of the American Carnival," Sarasota, FL: Carnival Publishers of Sarasota, three volumes. J. Griffin
    Reply: 22 April, 2005 - Perhaps you are speaking of Dave Endy's Carnival. Played a lot in Pennsylvania in the 40's. I believe he lived in Miami, and had part interest in the Seagull Hotel on 21st Street on Miami Beach. I remember my Dad, "Doc" (Curly) Milton Bartok, taking him and several other friends out on our boat when we had a house on Key Biscayne. This would be early 50's. Hope this helps. Best,

    Reply: 26 Jul 2008 - Ms. Childers, My Mother in Law was with the Endy Bros Carnival during the 30’s. If you want send me your questions and I'll have her answer them. She is 85 now and remembers everything about that time. Gary Polito, NJ

553. Nanga, elephant, 12 April, 2005 - Would anyone have any details concerning the career of a circus elephant named,"Nanga",that according to one source,killed three of its keepers around 1910? Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

552. Circus History 1908-09, 12 April, 2005 - I have some correspondence from someone who worked with a traveling circus Jan. 1908 - Nov. 1909. Each letter is dated and lists the town that the circus was performing in. Are there any databases available to help me determine which circus this would have been? For example: Concord, NC 5/6/1909, Madison, FL 1/1/1909. R Cannata, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 12 April, 2005 - There are no significant on-line circus route databases, but if you can access the weekly issues of the trade publications Billboard or New York Clipper for the time in question, they published the advance routes that were forwarded by the various shows. If you're not absolutely certain that it was a circus, you should also check carnival routes. Going to the newspapers in the communities visited is also another method to establish the identity of the show in question. Establishing the name of the employee in question, or the recipient's name, can sometimes provide clues to the identity of the show. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 13 April, 2005 - Since you do not apparently have the authors name nor any letterheads among the correspondence to narrow the field, one would suspect that the show, and there is no guarantee that it was a circus, was out most of the year. Another problem is to determine if it was the same or more than one show that the author was on. You would need to provide two or three dates per month to determine where the show was routed before any research could be attempted. Ted Bowman Route Collection

551. George Zalva, 10 April, 2005 - I believe that a George Zalva (Cruickshank) performed at The Tower possibly early 1920-30's. Does anyone have any information on him. Katie, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

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