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Message Archive: Messages 2651 - 2700



2700. Circus cannon, 27 Nov 2008 - My name is William Hinson and I am trying to find out how a circus cannon is fired. I have learned that it is propelled by compressed air or a spring but I need to know how the triggering mechanism works. My wife is writing a book and she needs the info so that the story is accurate. Thank you for any info you can give me. William Hinson, whinson@admin.fsu.edu. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 01 Dec 2008 - Dear William, The human cannonball circus act has been around since 1882. In the early 1920's the Italian born Zacchini family refined the cannon act to a much greater level and brought it to America in 1929. A member of that family continued performing until the early 1990's. There are presently 5 Zacchini cannons in Circus Museums and family owned collections. There are also now several others in the circus who perform this act.
        The way the circus cannon works is a closely guarded secret, and must remain that way. I can tell you this: the human projectile must be a very good gymnast and the person operating the cannon must be very good at math. I have a vast collection of circus cannon photos that can be made available to anyone doing a historical project on the circus cannon act. But I will have no part of any attempt to expose the secret of this spectacular circus act. Jim Cole

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2699. Dog act, Ringling Bros. ca 1910, 27 Nov 2008 - I was told my great grandparents had a dog act with the Ringling Brothers circus about 1910. I believe my great grandmother's name was May Miller, but am not absolutely sure. My grandmother, Gladys was raised by her grandparents as her parents traveled with the circus. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Barbara. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2698. Ringling Bros. route book 1938, 22 Nov 2008 - Hello, I am a librarian posting on behalf of a patron, who is curious to know whether or not a 1938 Ringling Bros. route book was ever published. Any information is much appreciated. Thank you! Gleason Public Library, Carlisle, MA. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 28 Nov 2008 - There was no 1938 RBBB route book issued. Ted Bowman Circus Route Collection

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2697. Billy Machaqahkee, 21 Nov 2008 - Has anyone heard, or have on record, a Sells Circus performer named Billy Machaqahkee. He was a Cherekee and said he was kidnapped by Sells to perform in the circus. (1880's) He mentions Bill Rine as ringmaster. Thanks, John, Caledonia, MI. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2696. Ringling Elephants 1954, 20 Nov 2008 - I am looking for information on the history of the elephants in the RBBB herd during the under-canvas tour as well as their duties on the lot and in the show. I believe that Hugo Schmitt worked the babies in the center ring and that there were 4 or 5 in each of the end rings during the elephant display. Overall I believe the herd totaled 27 so that would have left 10 or so out of the ring display. Any info on the elephants in the main spec "Dreamland?" When was the long mount and how many bulls were in it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Rick Faber, CHS, rfaber@schlitterbahn.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 21 Nov 2008 - Rick, This will become an incredibly long answer so I'll email you directly instead of tying up the board here. Bob Cline

    Reply: 01 Dec 2008 - Rick, Take a long look at the movie 'The Greatest Show on Earth.' This was filmed very close the the era you are researching. Hugo is indeed in charge of the herd, as well as Lotus, my favorite Hippo! Good luck in your search. This gaggle of helpers will find the info and share it! Best wishes, R. T. Carr

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2695. Bum Creole, 20 Nov 2008 - Hello! Could anyone please verify the name of an act called Bum Creole, or Bun Creel, or something like that, on Hunt Bros., perhaps back in the 1950s? Think it was a dog act or some other kind of small animal act. Wondered about this for years and would be very grateful if someone could pin it down! Thanks, Tripp. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2694. Iron Neck Mott, 20 Nov 2008 - My mother's uncle was a circus performer who went under the name "iron neck mott", and I am searching for any and all information and images of him. I know hw retired in 1940, and is from Fulton N.Y., but that is about all I know. Any help would be awesome. Thank you, william f. barry. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 23 Nov 2008 - There's a wonderful article about him, with an illustration at http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html, type "iron jaw mott' in the search (do include the quotation marks). There are ten articles on Mott, the 1978 article, Oswego Valley News, is the one I viewed. I found this with a Google search. On newspaperarchives.com I found: In a 1925 advertisement for the Moose Indoor Circus and Bazaar, Moose Hall at Coshocton, Ohio, they had vaudeville acts, a jazz band, and circus acts. One of the circus acts was Iron Neck Mott. From Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, OH), April 21, 1925, p. 8. - Judy Griffin

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2693. Clown, Life magazine, 19 Nov 2008 - I have a tough one. I am looking for an article that was in a late 1950's or early 1960's Life magazine about a clown that was a University instructor in a Michigan college and quit to go full tilme as a clown. The Life magazine had many pictures. I am searching for the date of that magazine so I can search for it. All other efforts have failed. Please respond on my e-mail at hobyt@juno.com. Thanks much Hoby Tyler, clown with 50 years of service. Trained by Zeke Lamont, Bozo the clown. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 20 Nov 2008 - I'm not sure which issue it is but the college professor was Dr. Charles Boas. He taught Geography. He joined Penny Bros. Circus as "Onions" the clown. He later worked the advance for several shows including Ringling then took out his own show Boas Bros. Circus. It transformed into Circus Kirk which was the only all student traveling circus in America for ten years. With the decline in Doc's health and the added pressures of trying to do more to make it happen, Circus Kirk closed after the 1977 season. Doc just passed away a few years ago but his entire family still lives within a block of each other in Texas. Bob Cline

    Reply: 20 Nov 2008 - The article was in Life Magazine of June 2, 1961 and tells of Charles Boas joining Penny Bros Circus. Boas later owned a circus called Circus Kirk. I believe this has all been covered on this website before. Ole Whitey

    Reply: 01 Dec 2008 - Hoby, Glad you are still on deck! Life is all on microfilm at most public libraries or a local University Library near you. You've been supplied the date, good hunting, some systems even allow color copying! Good luck in your research. Best wishes, R. T. Carr

    Reply: 29 Dec 2008 - Many thanks for the replies, Hoby Tyler

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2692. Cirkus family Goldkette, 19 Nov 2008 - Goldkette:

Levy/Louis Goldkette 1778-1833 mt Therese Schlaum
1 son: Hartwig Goldkette b 1805 mt: Mine Goldstein
     1 daughter: Jeanette Goldkette b abt 1837 mt: Joseph Goudsmit
       1 son: Adolph Goudsmit mt: Virginia Elisabeth Blumenfeld 1872-1958 USA 4 children:
         1. Max Goudsmit
         2. Henry Goudsmit
         3. Jeanette Virginia Goudsmit b 1894
         4. Allphonse Goudsmit called Al Gordon

Can anybody tell me who are the parents of Virginia Elisabeth Blumenfeld 1872 - d 1958 USA. All the circusfamily end in USA. Jette Goldkette Sørensen.Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2691. James E. Wallace Wild Animal Shows, 19 Nov 2008 - I am looking for information on the “James E. Wallace Wild Animal Shows” or the “James E. Wallace Circus” – specifically the years the show was out, where it toured, size of show, etc. According to Parkinson’s “Directory of American Circuses” the show was owned by James E. Wallace – but he gives no information on when the show was out, who Wallace was, etc. I do know that Majestic Poster of Los Angeles provided paper for the show, and it appears to be from the late 1940s. Thanks. Chris Berry, circusposters@gmail.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2690. Whittie Sutton Big 10 Show, 17 Nov 2008 - Does anyone know anything about the "Whittie Sutton Big 10 Show"? This was noted in an obituary for Rosalie the Armless Girl's, who died in 1973. We are looking for any information on Whittie Sutton or Rosalie. D Jones. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 17 Nov 2008 - This might be the Rosalie you are looking for? - Judy Griffin
        "The wife of a Clearfield County native can probably lay claim to being one of the most unusual homemakers in the country. She is Mrs. Earl Edward Woods, better known to Clearfield County Fair visitors as 'Rosalie, the Armless Girl' in the James E. Strates Shows. The 48-year-old Rosalie has been without arms since she was nine, when a double amputation at the shoulders was necessary following an accident. Yet, using her feet in place of arms, and her toes instead of fingers, she is able to keep house and maintain a normal home for her husband, a former DuBois resident; and their nine year old daughter, Doris Inez. 'Home' to the Woods family, which includes two part-terrier dogs and a parakeet, is a house trailer. Because it is compact and easy for Rosalie to care for they live in it year-round. During the winter months it is set up in a trailer park in Florida but from March to November when the James E. Strates Shows are on the road, it can be found directly behind the sideshow tent. While on exhibition, Rosalie shows the dexterity she has achieved with her toes by combing her hair, applying make-up, embroidering, and writing. . . . Rosalie joined a carnival 20 years ago and is now in her second year with the Strates Shows. In addition to serving as a means of income for her family, she hopes that her exhibition in the sideshow serves as an inspiration to other handicapped persons. . . . Mr. Woods' family still live in the DuBois, Luthersburg area . . . He joined a carnival in DuBois 20 years ago as a barker and a ticket seller and shortly afterwards married Rosalie, the Armless Girl. Since then they have traveled the country with carnivals living in their trailer . . ." Progress (Clearfield, PA), August 1, 1958, p. 10.

    Reply: 06 Jan 2009 - Whitey Sutton was a long time side show operator. In the late forties he was partnered with Slim W. Kelly and in 1957 they replaced Claude Bentley's side show on the james E. Strates Shows. Slim retired in the early sixties but Whitey and his wife Elsie kept the show going. Whitey died at the Clearfield, Pa. fair in 1965. Elsie and her son kept it going on Strates until 1984.
        In the late fifties and sixties some of the best acts in the freak business worked for Kelly and Sutton. The show worked without a bally and used four ticket boxes. The admission price for quite a few years was a quarter. For a time they had two blow-offs inside. Whitey was noted for making everything extra heavy and for setting up snow fence all around the side show tent so people couldn't sneak in. People that had worked for him always complained about how heavy everything was and how they hated stringing out all the snow fence. I'm sure the son and several daughters are still around the Gibsonton, Florida area. Al Stencell

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2689. George Cromer, clown, 17 Nov 2008 - I am trying to locate information on George Cromer who was a clown with a circus. I do have a photo of him in his outfit. Other than a photo, the only other verification I have is that in the 1900 federal census, taken on June 15, 1900 in Southbury, New Haven, Connecticut, he was listed as being a “servant” in the Circus. There is a list of others with the circus, however, there is nothing to indicate the name of the circus. I have checked the routes of several circuses listed on your site to see if any might have been in New Haven in June, but I have had no luck. Does anyone have any info that might help me figure out what circus he was part of? Anything would be appreciated! Thank you! Carol Clemens, cclemens318 at roadrunner.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2688. Mark Karoly, 16 Nov 2008 - Does anyone know if Mark Karoly, the incomparable bareback clown and animal trainer, still performs? We saw him in Baraboo at Circus World about 14 years ago, and his show of bareback riding and clowning were amazing. We would love to see him again. Conni Strait, St.Paul, MN, mnstrait@msn.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 17 Nov 2008 - Mark is retired from the Circus and living in Sarasota on his Father's farm. Bob Cline

    Reply: 17 Nov 2008 - Dear Conni, I'm sorry to say that my nephew, Mark, has retired from show business. He has settled down in Mayaka City. Florida. He is managing his Dad's cattle ranch and farm. He is enjoying his three young children and is still working hard but, in a different profession. I agree with you, having been a performer in my youth, I too appreciated the great job that Mark did in his act. Thank you for asking about him. Erny Karoly

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2687. Mae Hatfield, 16 Nov 2008 - Hello everyone, my name is Frances and I am looking for any information on my great-grandmother. I am from North Carolina. My grandmother’s name was Frances Mae Hatfield. She was born March 16, 1889. She performed in the circus under the name of Mae instead of Frances as in those days Frankie was a popular nickname which she did not like. Our family called her Mumsy. I don’t know a lot about what she did in the circus but do know she put a steel bit in her mouth and came down the wire from the top of the circus tent. I have also been told she jumped through hoops of fire while riding a horse and lifted a piano on her back. She was the youngest of 10 children. She married a man named William Eugene Shomer in St. Joseph, Michigan 11-24-1906. They performed in vaudeville as Shomer and Shomer. My grandmother remembers performing also until she entered school. Her name was Johanna Marquerite and she told me stories about staying in a hotel with the Foy’s in NYC. My mother is 82 and I want to surprise her with some memorabilia if I can find any. A route book would be fantastic or any program with her name in it. One of my relatives has all of her scrapbooks but I would like to find something special for my mom. I hope I hear from many of you. I am so excited about finding this website. My e-mail address is : Frantastic7@bellsouth.net. Thank you. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2686. Young Buffalo Wild West, Prairie Rose, 15 Nov 2008 - I'm looking for any information regarding The Prairie Rose. She was display No. 12 in the official progam from Young Buffalo Wild West, 1913. I believe she also performed this act for B&B at Madison Square Garden in 1916. I would appreciate any information regarding any other performances or facts about her. Thank you, Shirley Morris, savvygrammy@bendbroadband.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 25 Nov 2008 - For your information, in the 1911 Young Buffalo program, Display No. 18 reads as follows: "Roping and riding the wildest and most untamable horses procurable anywhere; introducing the world's greatest subduer of the outlaw equine, Prairie Rose, beyond cavil the greatest and most intrepid female rider in the known world". I did not find Prarie Rose listed in any B & B program, MSG or Road from 1914 thru 1917. Hope this helps Robert F

    Reply: 27 Nov 2008 - Dear Shirley: I have newspaper articles stating Prairie Rose in the Young Buffalo Wild West as Display No. 10. She also won the 1912 World’s championship broncho buster at the Los Angles Rodeo. Her name was Prairie Rose Henderson. She is also listed in the Irwin Bros. Real Cheyenne Wild West in 1913. Richard Georgian. Email: rgeorgian@embarqmail.com

    Reply: 01 Dec 2008 - Another input on Prairie Rose, using the guidance provided by friend Richard Georgian regarding the 1913 Irwin Brothers Show, I looked in the 1914 Irwin Bros Program and Prairie Rose does not show up there in that year. Must be on another show. Best Robert F

    Reply: 01 Dec 2008 - I have also found Prairie Rose (Miss Rose Henderson) in the Barnum & Bailey show of 1914. Reported in the Anaconda Standard, Sat. April 11, 1914. See you later, Richard Georgian

    Reply: 20 Dec 2008 - Robert and Richard, thanks so much for your input on the great Prairie Rose. I have found some interesting facts about this colorful circus performer and cowgirl. It appears that we may be combining several people into one, as The Prairie Rose and Rose Henderson appear to be stage names. I believe there may have been one true star and several impersonators who appeared as The Prairie Rose on different occasions including an appearance at Frontier Days in Cheyenne with C.B. Irwin. I'm hoping there may be an identifiable photo of her somewhere while performing with Young Buffalo. I found the one badly reproduced photo in a newspaper ad advertising her appearance at MSG. Unfortunately, I couldn't identify the facial features from the photo. If anyone knows of a photo, please contact me. Thanks again for the wonderful info - Shirley

    Reply: May 15 2014 - Rose Gale was daughter of Ezra Gale & Melvina Ormsby . born 5 February 1875 Trunbull Co. Ohio. She had a sister Emma & bro. Elmer Gale. Before 1886 father died or were divorced. Melvina then married William Gale and they moved to Custer Co. Nebraska, lived there until early 1890's, had three sons. They moved back to Ohio. Rose married Arthur C. Clayton abt 1892, maybe Merrick, NE area. 1900 census Merrick, NE. Her uncle Melvin Ormsby also just a few doors away. Melvin was her mothers twin brother. Divorced from Clayton before 1910, had two children May 1895, Henry Arthur Clayton 1897, he was a plumber in Los Angeles CA. The name Prairie Rose Henderson she used after 1910. Carol

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2685. Mr. Mistin, 15 Nov 2008 - I remember seeing Mr. Mistin at Ringling Bros Circus at Richmond, Indiana in 1953. Does anyone know anything about him? He would have to be at least in his late 60s by now if he is still living. Bob Albright, Centerville, Indiana. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2684. Polar bear, Los Angeles 1930-40s, 13 Nov 2008 - Hello! I'm a student writing a piece about the animal collections at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The current manager of the mammal collection, who's only been at the museum ~7 years, told me they have a polar bear that he thinks came from a Ringling Brothers circus that passed through the city in the 1930s or 1940s. Supposedly, the bear attacked his trainer and then was shot by a policeman who heard the commotion. I know this doesn't give you much to go on, but if you know anything about this animal and the events surrounding its death, I'd appreciate it! Please drop me an email (mdean@uci.edu). Thanks for your time! Mason. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 14 Nov 2008 - Dear Mason, The average age for Polar Bears is between 15-18 yrs. There have been rare cases were bears have lived between 20 and 30 yrs. The oldest known Bear was 32, If a Polar Bear was "dropped off at the Zoo during the 1930's or 1940's," that Bear would be between 68 and 78 years old which is highly unlikely. Sorry, Erny Karoly

    Reply: 16 Nov 2008 - Ooops! You said "Museum" I thought you said Zoo. My mistake, sorry Erny

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2683. Whitehouse family, 13 Nov 2008 - My name in Ann Mckenna, at annmckenna1@hotmail.co.uk> I am looking for information on the Whitehouse family trapeze, circus family. My grand father was told storys by his family when young that there was a Whitehouse family that traveled around europe. Can anyone help me find their names and when and if they had children, and when they visited and when they were around, as I am trying to find them within my family tree please. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2682. Bertram Mills Circus, 13 Nov 2008 - I am after any information about Bertram Mills Circus at 1 Dorset Square, London NW (the building where I work!). It was their head office. Was it also the box office? Anybody out there has photos of the building between 1920s-1960s (not sure when BM Circus moved out). I am also after any info about Bernard and Cyril war work and more generally Cyril’s work as an MI5 officer (on top of his entry in Oxford Dictionary of Nat Biog). I thought I had seen somewhere on the internet that one of the brothers (or maybe both?) lived at Dorset House, a listed art deco building opposite their office. I cannot find this again. Any info out there on that? Many thanks, Dr Chrystel HUG. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 16 Nov 2008 - Look for photos and posters about Bertram Mills circus www.circusmuseum.nl/eng H.Best-Otte

    Reply: 31 Aug 2011 - I am also doing research on the Bertram Mills Circus myself and I may be able to help you. I have a letter from Mr B.W Mills himself dated 1937 and the address stated is 1 Dorset Square. I know when Mr B.W Mills deceased in 1938; his 2 sons took over and moved the circus to Kings Ride, Ascot, Berkshire from 1930’s – 1960’s. But this location was the winter quarters, when they were not touring. (I have spoken with the Ringmaster Norman Barrett who confirmed the winter quarters address).
        I have some documents which date back to the 1930’s with reference to the box office. I will look into this for you and confirm the box office address. I have several books about the Bertram Mills Circus that contain many images; I will try and seek the images of 1 Dorset Square. Cyril Mills brought out an autobiography this may have references to the MI5 information and locations of where he lived (i.e. Dorset House).
        (Second World War) From a local source I have found many men would try and hide in the winter quarters and/ or the stables to avoid going to war, of course they were found and consequences were made. Regards, Laura

    Reply: 22 Feb 2015 - My grandmother worked for Bertram Mills in Dorset Square during WW2. She claimed she was a “bookkeeper” but I also know she was fluent in French, possibly also German, having spent some considerable time in Paris. Her name was Amanda Ferguson (nee Werner) and all I know is that she died around 1958-9, having retired to Hove, separated from her husband William Ferguson who was an architect or draughtsman. It might not be unreasonable to assume she had some involvement with the French Resistance but at this time I have no specific information and don’t know where to look for it. Her father Herr Louis Werner was a music professor/conductor in Belfast from the 1880s-1960s and was a first generation German immigrant to Northern Ireland so the whole family may also have spoken German. Phil Graham

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2681. Jules Jacob, 13 Nov 2008 - I am interested in Jules Jacob can you email any photos? Mr. Jones, gerel765@yahoo.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 15 Nov 2008 - Jules Jacob or Jules Jacot?

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2680. Ringling Bros. programs 1944-45, 11 Nov 2008 - I just noticed that the Ringling Bros programs for 1944 and 1945 have the same photo on the cover (Lou on one knee in front of Ernestine Clarke and her horse). Coincidence or fire related? Anyone? Jill in California. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 13 Nov 2008 - You have described the official 1944 program cover. It is very possible that the show had a supply left over because of the abbreviated 1944 season and used them up the following year, possibly with a 1945 list of acts inserted, but there was also a very different 1945 cover picturing a lady riding an elephant. Regards- Ole Whitey

    Reply: 19 Nov 2008 - As Ole Whitey correctly points out – the 1945 PROGRAM does have the photo of a showgirl on an elephant – but the 1945 Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Magazine “PROFESSIONAL EDITION FOR PRESS AND RADIO” is nearly (but not quite) identical to the 1944 program. It is the same size, and does indeed use the same photo of Lou Jacobs and Ernestine Clarke that was found on the 1944 program. The “Professional Edition” has articles – basically press releases – that reporters and radio announcers could use when talking about the circus. Chris Berry, circusposters@gmail.com

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2679. Coronas, 11 Nov 2008 - I am looking for an old friend named Trudy Coronas, her sister was named Riky and her brother Horst, they came from Vienna and they had a trampoline act. After Trudy married Max (a partner from the acrobats Iles Rosetti) Trudy went to USA. Any information is welcome! Charly Ross. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2678. Barney O'Hern posters, 10 Nov 2008 - I am trying to get in touch with Pat O'Hern. [see message No. 1495] His SBC email address (pat.ohern@sbcglobal.net), telephone, and fax lines do not respond. If you know how to reach him, please have him contact me at dx34me@aol.com or 888 891-0557. I have located Barney O'Hern posters for him. Jessee. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2677. Christy Bros FOUR Ring Wild Animal Show, 10 Nov 2008 - In the late 1920s Christy Bros billed itself as a “FIVE RING WILD ANIMAL SHOW”. I have a piece of advertising - printed by Erie Litho and Ptg - that refers to the "Christy Bros FOUR Ring Wild Animal Show". I am hoping that someone can help me pinpoint the date of this piece. Chris Berry, circusposters@gmail.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 10 Nov 2008 - Found on newspaperarchives.com: "Animal Show Here Thurs. Tomorrow Christy Bros. Greater United four ring wild animal circus will be here, . . . The big circus parade is scheduled for noon, with performances at 2 and 8 p. m. . . ." - Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, OH), May 14, 1924, p. 1. " . . . Opening with the big Biblical spectacle of 'Noah's Ark,' which served to introduce a series of biblical tableaus to the accompanment of some splended singling by three prima donas, gorgeous costumes, and most of the show's animals till the three rings and the track was a mass of animated color and pageantry, . . ." - Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, OH), May 15, 1924, n.p.n. - Judy Griffin

    Reply: 10 Nov 2008 - Chris, Fred Pfening Jr. wrote a series of articles in the Bandwagon in 1996 beginning with the May/June issue about the Christy Bros. Show. The 1923 season advertisements appear with the 4 rings in the title and 1924 still shows the 4 ring advertisements, in particular the Noah and the Ark spec. By 1925, Christy was now using the 5 ring Posters. Bob Cline

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2676. Fun on the Farm, 09 Nov 2008 - I am looking for definitive history on John Kelly and John Agee's 1924 Fun on the Farm Circus. Where was it based? What were the acts? How long did it run? Thank you, Pam Webb, pdwebbsite@yahoo.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 09 Nov 2008 - You will want to order the back issue of Bandwagon, Vol. 44, No. 5 (Sep-Oct), 2000. Click on Bandwagon on the navigation bar and scroll down for information on ordering back issues. The article you want is Draper's on John Agee. He covers the program, acts. If you want to see what the newspapers said about this show, try newspaperarchives.com (subscription site), there were over 100 hits on a search for "Fun on the Farm" for 1924. The show was framed in Baraboo, WI and played Wisconsin (1924). It appears Agee & Kelley took the show to New York in January 1925. Judy Griffin

    Reply: 10 Nov 2008 - There is cameo coverage of the "Fun on the Farm" outfit in the book "Badger State Showmen," along with mention and a photo of Agee's slightly earlier indoor show. The manuscript research notes gathered together all of the available relevant documentation pertinent to the operation. These are filed in the CWM library and they will in turn lead to other collections therein. Fred Dahlinger

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2675. Oil Paintings of Emmett Kelly, 09 Nov 2008 - Please send me any information on oil paintings of Emmett Kelly painted by Pete Boruta. Thank you, John. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 03 Jan 2009 - John, Pete Boruta did his works in Trenton, New Jersey. Actually right at the permanent site of the Trenton State Fair grounds. My dad was good friend of his. I remember dad taking me with him one day and meeting him. I couldn’t been more the 7 or 8 (I was born in ’48). He gave me a painting which at the time meant nothing more than a cute clown picture to me. Now it hangs in my office. It’s not of Kelly but rather Felix Adler. Kelly and Adler were two of his favorites. He let me pick anyone I wanted. I still like my choice even though I might have a more treasured Kelly. I have a couple of news clippings that I can scan and email to you. My I suggest two papers; the “Trenton Times” and the “Trentonian” for more information. Best regards, Carter

    Reply: 06 Feb 2010 - I have seen a beautiful clown face painted by Peter Boruta. The Boruta painting is a reminder of a joyful time in my childhood - of the annual State fair which once included a recreation of a Vietnamese Village in 1967 or of the topless ladies who wore psychedlic colored tassles on their nipples that moved in mysterious motions, or so it seemed to a curious young boy. Today, the NJ State Fairgrounds has metamorphosized into a fascinating landscape of sculpture and art called the Grounds for Sculpture. I wonder if the ghost of Boruta, paints amidst the statues of Monet and the boating party - perhaps painting Seward Johnson's all-white peacock, red and orange, and giving a colorful feather to another boy and brightening the world with artistic pleasure. Caljvk

    Reply: 26 Nov 2013 - Originals of Emmet Kelly by Pete Boruta - can anyone send additional information about Pete? Grey

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2674. Wallendas fall, 1962, 08 Nov 2008 - I'm a producer working on a television show about The Flying Wallendas for TLC, a division of Discovery networks. I would greatly appreciate it if you could offer up any information about obtaining footage of their 1962 fall in Detroit. Honestly, any and all information that you could pass along would be great. We've had a difficult time tracking down it's whereabouts. Thanks in advance, Brenna Eckerson. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 09 Nov 2008 - Dear Brenna, I just got off the phone with Jenny Wallenda, and she said their is no movie film of the 1962 Detroit Accident. Several years ago, the Biography Channel did a documentry about Karl Wallenda, and for a while they offered it for sale on VHS. It had about all the Wallenda footage anyone could ask for, and then some. VHS copies of the 1977 movie "The Great Wallendas" might still be found on ebay or Amazon. If you would like to contact Jenny Wallenda, please e-mail me at jsc2762r@earthlink.net. I have her permision to give you her phone #. She may be able to put you in contact with other family members as well. Jim Cole, CHS Member.

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2673. Iron jaw, Yankee Robinson, 08 Nov 2008 - My Grandmother was either with the Yankee Robinson circus, or the John Robinson Circus. My Father donated all pictures we have of her to the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, and after contacting them, they cannot find any of the pictures. My Grandmother did an iron jaw act. She would have been in the circus between 1919 and 1930. I thought her stage name was Doris Lee, but since I cannot find anything under that name, I'm probably mistaken. Any help would be appreciated. Please email me at sandidais@yahoo.com. Thank You. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2672. King & Franklin, 08 Nov 2008 - My name is Luis Navar. I found some things related to the King & Franklin Circus in a house built in 1889 in Denison Iowa, some person used the circus wagon # 13, one-inch-thick wood boards as sheeting on the roof of the house, the boards some of them facing the inside of the house still have some of the painted advertisement related to the circus, if anyone is interested in more information please email me back. l.navar@mchsi.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 10 Nov 2008 - The King & Franklin Circus title started in 1888, and it was a railroad circus. The King & Franklin Colossal Shows and Hippodrome performed in Dennison, Iowa on June 27, 1891. The show went on to finish the 1891 season on November 30 at Jacksonville, Florida. Shortly thereafter the show was put up at auction at Louisville, Kentucky on December 14, 1891. Since the show did not 'go bust in or near' Dennison there is a good chance that someone in Dennison had an attachment against the show, and this may explain why the wagon was left in town. You might check the local papers to see if a story was printed about the attachment. Unless the wagon was damaged in an accident, it probably was broken up a few years later when the house was renovated, an addition was added, or it suffered storm damage. Ted Bowman Circus Route Collection.

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2671. C. A. “Archie” Bonney, 07 Nov 2008 - I am trying to find more information about C. A. “Archie” Bonney; musician, albino, actor. What I would like is more about his circus life. I found him with Robert Hunting’s, 1894. There is an excellent article with information about him in "Ringling Brothers Route Book, 1898." After that in April of 1900 he signed a contract for twenty-six weeks with Forepaugh-Sells Bros. That is pretty much all I know of him. If anyone has the Bandwagon, Vol. 45, No. 5 (Sep-Oct), 2001 I would appreciate to know if there is any more about C. A. Bonney than I have above. If so, if available, I will be happy to purchase a copy. Chris Prewitt, Fullerton, CA, prewitts@juno.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 10 Nov 2008 - The Sep-Oct 2001 issue of Bandwagon did not have any additional information on C. A. Bonney. You might want to contact Erin Foley at the Circus World Museum library, 608-356-8341 (866-693-1500 toll-free). - Judy Griffin

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2670. Stranzs sisters, 07 Nov 2008 - Does anyone have any information on the Five Stranzs sisters? They used to ride elephants, I believe. I would appreciate anything you know! Lisa Strangwayes, silentsenshi at gmail.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2669. Wally Naughton, 07 Nov 2008 - Greetings from National Public Radio. I'm hoping to get in touch with some Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily Circus children we interviewed in New York in 1981. Their names:

1 -- Wally Naughton, Junior - he worked in a bear act
2 -- Michelle Antellick (spelling?) - she worked in her family's dog act
3 -- Nisha Braun (spelling?) - She would have been five years old in 1981. Her parents were Francine and Eric Braun.

Any suggestions about how we might reach these folks? Many thanks. Jim Wildman, Senior Producer, NPR's Morning Edition, Washington, DC, (202) 513-2174 office. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2668. Kelty Photo Prints, 07 Nov 2008 - I have a print of an Edward J. Kelty photograph showing sideshow freaks from the "Ringling Golden Jubilee" in 1933. I found this print in an antique store - are there any direct sources for prints of other photographs by this photographer? Susan Wolf. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 10 Nov 2008 - Photos by Edward W. Kelty are quite collectible, and while a number of them have been reproduced over the years, originals can certainly be identified by a rubber stamp on the back of the photograph for “Century Flashlight Photographers, Inc”. By far the best collection of Kelty photos exists in the book “Step Right This Way, The Photographs of Edward J. Kelty” compiled by Miles Barth and Alan Siegel. The book was published in 2002 by the Michael Friedman Publishing Group. The book itself is out of print and over the past several years it has also become quite collectible. Copies of “Step Right This Way” are occasionally available on the Amazon.com website along with eBay.com. Chris Berry circusposters@gmail.com

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2667. Erny Karoly, 05 Nov 2008 - Hallo und guten Tag. Mein Name ist Leandro Marton-KAROLY (leandro-amigo@t-online.de) und ich suche die Anschrift meines Cousins ERNY KAROLY und seiner Tochter ASHLEY. Können Sie mir bitte helfen? Vielen Dank, mit besten Grüßen, Ihr Leandro Marton-Karoly
    Google translation: Hello and good day. My name is Leandro Marton-KAROLY (leandro-amigo@t-online.de) and I'm looking for the address of my cousins Erny KAROLY and his daughter Ashley. Can you please help me? Thank you, with best regards, your Leandro Marton-Karoly. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 07 Nov 2008 - Dear Leandro, great news to hear from you. I lost your address and don't remember what town you now live in. Please send me your mailing address; I have lots of pictures to send to you and much news from us. Love, Erny

    Reply: 14 Dec 2008 - Hi, lieber Erny, bitte sende mir Deine Adresse oder e-mail, dann kann ich Dir schreiben. Grüße Ashley von uns, bis bald Dein Leandro. [Google translation: Hi, dear Erny, please send me your address or e-mail, then I can write you. Ashley greetings from us, soon your Leandro]

    Reply: 15 Dec 2008 - Leandro My Email address is ernyk@aol.com

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2666. Fire Marshals, 05 Nov 2008 - Question: Can you tell me the following? I am researching the Circus and regulations for ethics purposes. Thanks! From what body of laws do Fire Marshals have the authority to "stop the presses" at a Circus? Is it different in each town? Diane Zachary. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 06 Nov 2008 - Each State has its own Fire Marshall's Office. Each State has its own laws to abide by. For the most part, they are all pretty similar. They are looking for overcrowding, smoking inside a tent is the biggest no-no, and will examine the electricals for shorts, overloading etc. The tent must be Fire retardant and the certification must be sewn on the canvas as well as a written copy in the possession of the show. Each Fire Marshall is different. Some will inspect every little detail they can think of and others are not as tough. The may insist that a Fire Truck is standing by during each performance with hoses deployed in the event something would go wrong. The Circus then has to pay the local Fire Dept. for protection services as their paid firefighters are not able to go to a fire somewhere else in the city requiring more Firefighters to be on duty that day. The erection of the tent and safety of the seating for instance falls under the local inspectors and not the Fire Marshall. In New York for example, all electrical cables must be buried as they are a trip hazard. I'm not sure if that fell under the Fire Marshall's Office or not. Basically they are a entity of the State. They are authorized to "shut down" what they deem as unsafe. Since they are a Public agency, you might want to contact the Fire Marshall's Office in your state and ask for a copy of the laws that apply to outdoor amusements. Bob Cline

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2665. Atascosa County, TX, 04 Nov 2008 - My name is Susan, and I would like to know how can I possibly find out the names of the different circus companies that traveled though Atascosa County, Texas in the year 1880. Also, why would were many circus actors accounted for in the cesus of that year? Please help! Respectfully, Susanna I. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 06 Nov 2008 - The best way to find out is to scroll through the local newspapers if they exist. They are usually on microfilm at a local Library. You would be able to find advertisements for the circuses that might have traveled through your area. Most of these would have been traveling by wagon back then meaning they didn't move much more than 15 miles or so each day. Try a local Historical Society and see if they have any records. If you are finding a large number of show folk in a census for instance, there might have been a circus that wintered there when they were not traveling. Therefore a lot of the show folk would stay in the area and then leave with the circus again the next spring. The New York Clipper would go back to the 1880's and was an entertainment weekly. This is found on microfilm and can sometimes be acquired through an interlibrary loan. It might have some references for you as well. Bob Cline

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2664. Kalop or Kallop family, 04 Nov 2008 - I am researching the Kalop/Kallop family who were bohemian (gypsy) circus performers in Austria before immigrating to the US around 1882-1884. Is there any way you could help me find out what the circus was or any additional information on this family? Linda. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2663. Berta Beeson, high wire, 04 Nov 2008 - I am looking for information regarding 'Berta Beeson' the Sensational Hire Wire Artist. My sister and I found a poster of him at the Ringling Circus Museum when we visited and we want to find out some history on him. We might be related. Do you have any information or is there a book on High Wire Artists with Ringling. I went to their web site and e-mailed them, but sometimes they do not answer their e-mails. They have sent me some posters but no history. Thank you so much, Judi Beeson Engel, Judiaengel@aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 04 Nov 2008 - Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, ND), July 18, 1929, p. 6. "Chicago.—(AP)—Dainty, skirted Herberta Beeson, hailed as "the world's greatest slack-wire dancer," is a man! The story of his rise from grocery clerk to featured performer of the "big tops" is one of the romances that give circus life its spangled glamour. At 17, when his name was Herbert, Beeson was a clerk in a general store at Summitsville, Ind., where he "helped out" three nights a week as a stage hand at the village vaudeville theatre. To this theatre came the "Marvelous Lucknows," circus people doing a small time circuit. With the act was a girl who was a slack-wire dancer. For her amusement Herbert did all of the little dancing tricks he knew She liked them, and Herbert, too. Seven months later, in Texas, the girl slipped, fell a crumpled heap beneath the wire. "Don't fire her just because she's hurt," pleaded Herbert, now with the troupe. "I know her tricks. Let me do them." And now the maid who attends the great Herberta Beeson, catching the robe tossed from the wire, is the little girl who fell from toe wire—his wife."
        WWI draft card: Herbert Beeson, lived Indianapolis, IN; born February 22, 1899; occupation wire walker, Sells-Floto Circus; wife Margaret Beeson resided Chicago, IL. California Death Index: Herbert J. Beeson, died September 7, 1969 at San Bernardino, CA; born February 22, 1899; mother's maiden name Stone.
        1900 census Summitville, Van Buren Township, Madison County, IN, born Feb 1898, parents were Joseph and Emma. 1910 census Summitville, Van Buren Township, Madison County, IN, Mother divorced, her name unreadable. 1920 census, Herbert and Margaret were living in Manhattan, NY. Could not find him in 1930 census. - Judy Griffin

    Reply: 15 Jun 2011 - Berta Beeson was my grandfather. Richard W Mangan

    Reply: 03 Aug 2016 - Judi, I'm in Chicago visiting my mom in the hospital. We starting talking about her father and I started to look some things up and came across your name. Herbert Beeson is my grandfather. My mother Lois Beeson Mangan is the twin daughter of Herbert and Marguerite. If you feel like you need more information, please feel free to reach out to me. Rick Mangan

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2662. Lord Sangers Circus, 02 Nov 2008 - Can anyone tell me please where Lord Sangers Circus was between 1892-1895? Or dates they were in France around that time Any advice most gratefully received. Mike. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2661. Death, trapeze, Madison Square Garden, 01 Nov 2008 - I am researching an event that happened at Madison Square Garden in the 1980's when a trapeze artist fell to his death while performing a trick without a net. Can you help me out with any details? Thanks! Timothy G. Hart. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2660. Strongman, Harmon or Ernst, 01 Nov 2008 - I’m having a tough time trying to find any information on my great granddad who was a strong man. I know he lived in New York and I do have a few photos with him in costume but no date. His name is John Harmon or John Ernst. The ball park on dates would be 1885. Not much to go on but if anyone could maybe point me to the right sources that would be a lot of fun! Joey Adami. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2659. Escalante family, 31 Oct 2008 - Hi, my name is Barbara Nevarez. My mother in law was informed just before her mother passed that she was a decendant of the Escalante Circus family and I was hoping that you could me some info for her. Her family hasn’t been totally known to me but I was told that her mother was born to the Escalante family by mother. My mom in law's name is Jenny Aguilar by birth. Could you give me any info? Thank you, Barbara Nevarez. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2658. G Loury lithograph, 29 Oct 2008 - I have a Lithograph of a Pinder Circus elephant show in 1906. It is from France, it is a reproduction. The artist appears to be G Loury. I am looking for information on the artist, when it was done and anything else someone can tell me. I bought it about 15 years ago. John Joseph, Waukee, IA. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 31 Oct 2008 - There is an excellent source of European material at www.circusmuseum.nl/eng. There is a search tab at the bottom and will let you search the posters only by clicking the correct button. Just type in elephants. It pulls up 23 posters and everyone is documented with the artist, year, etc. With any luck at all, your poster is there. If elephants didn't work, try searching Pinder. Bob Cline

    Reply: 31 Oct 2008 - I found two photo’s from 1906 and 1910 of Pinder elephants with an (unknown) artist in charge. Surf to circusmuseum.nl/eng, click Search, click Advanced search, type Pinder in the field Circus and type 1900 – 1911 in the field Startyear/endyear. Is it Loury on the pictures? Herman Voogd

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2657. Carpa Cubana, 28 Oct 2008 - My grandfather, Rodolfo Dominguez aka Pirrinplin was a musician/ clown with the Carpa Cubana owned by Virgilio Abreu, who was, originally from Cuba. I believe that they became acquainted in Mexico City area as my grandfather was born in Guanajuato and I believe went on to study music in Mexico City. The carpa Cubana used to travel in the southwest Texas areas to put on tent shows mostly for the migrant cotton workers. I am trying to find anyone who might know anything about this topic. Virgilio Abreu was apparently a high wire performer probably in a Mexican circus before taking over his own circus and knew Alfredo Cadona of the Flying Cadona's. The time frame is the early 1900's in Mexico and the 1913 to peaking in the mid 1920's in Texas (based in San Antonio). Virgilio married Federica in Mexico City and they had one son Joe who was killed in World War II. Joe left behind a widow, Amelia, who was a dancer with the Carpa Cubana and I believe they had a son. After Joe's death Amelia may have left for California but I don't know for sure. Anyone who knows anything or even heard of the Carpa Cubana, Pirrinplin, Virgilio Abreu. Federica Abreu, Joe or Amelia Abreu please let me know. Also does anyone know how I can get in touch with July Revolledo, Mexican circus historian? Thanks - SD. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 29 Oct 2008 - If you mean Julio Revolledo Cardenas, a Google search turned him up as director of the Contemporary Circus and Scenery Arts Bachelor degree program, recently opened at Mesoamerican University of Puebla, Mexico. This might be an email address that could put you in contact with Julio via this university: ayuda@umaweb.com.mx. J. Griffin

    Reply: 29 Oct 2008 - At one time several years ago, the staff of the Hertzberg Circus Museum was researching the Carpas for an exhibit and perhaps more. They also had possession of materials from one or more of the carpas. You might check with the Witte Museum in San Antonio, which is now in possession of the Hertzberg collection, to learn about the holdings and access. See query 1267, perhaps the same e-mail address is still in effect. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 11 Nov 2008 - Many thanks to J. Griffin and Fred Dahlinger for your reply to my message. I will try both emails. This summer I was in San Antonio and specifically made an appointment to meet with the curator at the Witte Museum to see costumes belonging to the Carpa Cubana, (these were found in the Virgilio Abreus's garage following his death where he stored the circus paraphenalia) including one that was described to me by a reliable source as definitely belonging to my grandfather. My 88 year old father was with me so that increased the disappointment I felt in not being shown any but one costume (black and white wool suit) which was not recognizable to my father and is now on the Carpa Garcia website. SD

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2656. 3 Rickerts, 28 Oct 2008 - Hi there I am looking for info about the 3 Rickerts, they were a traveling show during the world war 2. They were jugglers. If I am not mistaken the were a father and 2 daughters. If you could help me I would be grateful. Thanks, Roxanne992 at aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 14 Nov 2008 - I have an entry, scan attached, in a 1939 agency book, advertising 'The greatest female strength sport' act of the time: Charlotte und Marlis and assistant. Managed by one A. Rickert, which might have been the father. Permanent address was 21 Seiler Strasse, Ludwigshafen, Germany. Natasha [scan not included here, photos/images are not allowed on this discussion board]

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2655. John Dubsky & wife, 28 Oct 2008 - I have photos of John Dubsky & wife with chimps, monkees, poodles & even goats but I don't know have his wife's name. Would someone have that information. Also one photo of "Papa" Dubsky from Royal Ranch early 1970's. It's not John. Anyone? Kauth, Nancy, nmkauth at ilstu.edu. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 07 Aug 2009 - John Dubsky is Janos Dubsky Jr. his father being Sr. (passed awhile back) Wife is Christa. I was married to his cousin, Ferdinand. Marcene

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2654. Thomas Large, wall of death, 27 Oct 2008 - My great grandfather was Thomas Jefferson Large, and rode the Wall Of Death in the circus. It was owned or operated by Lola and Carlos Bass? Any info or links would be great. Thanks, hondaman19 at netzero.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2653. Luella Forepaugh Fish, 27 Oct 2008 - Trying to uncover information on Luella/Louella. At least one source states that she was Luella Jordan, for which I have found no evidence. I'd like to verify that information or find the correct information on Luella's birth name.
    I have found information that indicates she was Luella Brown, born in November 10, 1857 in California, died Jan. 1959 at Devonshire Rest Home, San Carlos, San Mateo County, CA, age 101! (death record, which also states her father's surname was Brown). I sutmbled across a 1957 newspaper interview where she stated her father was Ben Brown, she was one of three children of Ben Brown, she left home at age 14 for employment in the theater, and she was born in Cache Creek, CA (which is in Yolo County, CA). The 1860 California census, Yolo County, for a B. H. Brown, lists three children, one of which was a Luella, age 5 (censuses can be "off" by two years). A Luella Forepaugh was found in the 1870 census, age 13, born in CA, living with a family named Fay.
    Luella is said to have married John A. Forepaugh, nephew of Adam Forepaugh, Sr., and after his death married George F. Fish. I did find 1910 to 1930 census records with Luella and George Fish. The most confusing information found is a documented marriage in Manhattan, NY, January 17, 1883, between John A. Forepaugh and Luella Hutchinson. This John A. Forepaugh listed his parents as George Forepaugh and Caroline Lacklen, which does fit with the parents of the John A. Forepaugh, nephew of Adam Forepaugh, who married Luella. Perhaps Luella was married before her marriage to John A. Forepaugh, or the record was transcribed incorrectly, or she was using a stage name. I was unable to find information on Caroline Lacklen.
    I have not yet checked the Circus World Museum library or the "New York Clipper" and "Billboard," etc. - Judy Griffin. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2652. Loeffler, vaudeville, 26 Oct 2008 - I am searching for a Mr. and/or Mrs. Loeffler. They were in Vaudeville in the 1930’s and apparently were forced out when Mr. Loeffler became blind. jdykman, mastrswp at clearwire.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 27 Oct 2008 - These could be the Loefflers you are searching for? Both were well-known vaudeville performers. Nell A. Loeffler, died at her Staten Island home, October 1950 age 74, stage name Nell Vernon. Edward H. Loeffler, died January 1962, age 79, hit by car near his Staten Island home. Both were natives of Pittsburgh, PA. Passport application 1912, Edward H. Loeffler, born Dec. 10, 1882, Pittsburgh, father Francis X. Loeffler. J. Griffin

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2651. Filming GSOE, 25 Oct 2008 - My question is when Cecil B DeMille was filming the GSOE how did his equipment travel? Did they have access to one of the wagons, if so which one, or did they provide their own transportation from town to town? I can vividly remember seeing them set up doing out shots in the back lot in Appleton Wis. Nedcircus@aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 31 Oct 2008 - I wish I could help you with your specific question regarding the wagons and equipment used by the Paramount film crew, but I may be able to provide a little more background on what you experienced in Appleton. In all likelihood what you saw was some of the very preliminary filming and still shots taken during the stand in Appleton on August 11, 1949 - nearly two years before actual filming of the feature was done. Cecil B DeMille joined the show in Chicago during the first week in August 1949 and traveled on the train – living in the Jomar - during almost the entire month of August. That would have put him in Appleton on August 11. Incidentally it was during the stand in Madison the next day (August 12, 1949) that DeMille was hoisted to the top of the Big Top in a bosun's chair (on his 66th birthday). He wrote about his experiences with the circus in the 1950 Ringling-Barnum program. While some filming was done during the 1950 season (backyard scenes, audience reaction shots, etc), the show didn't play Appleton in 1950 – or in 1951 when by far most of the filming was done. Most of the showground location shots, including the unloading of the train, the big top being raised, etc were filmed in Washington DC (May 15-20, 1951) and Philadelphia (May 21-26, 1951), the first under canvas shows of the 1951 season. Chris Berry. circusposters@gmail.com

    Reply: 03 Nov 2008 - Though traveling with the show might have been a novel experience, it would seem that the flexibility provided by independent travel would have been necessary for the filmmakers. Look at Jerry Digney's article about making the GSOE film in "Bandwagon," Nov-Dec 1991, pages 48-57, as well as Joe Bradbury's articles about the relevant RBBB seasons in "White Tops." One of the photos in the Digney article records what appears to be a foreign panel truck in the backyard, adjacent to a shoot. I would also recommend looking at other photography from the appropriate seasons and coverage in "White Tops" and "Billboard." They might have mentioned the specific arrangements and presence of the film crew. Period newspapers might also have commented upon the presence of the film crew in the community's midst, given the disclaimer regarding appearance of all the unpaid extras in the film. An analysis of the loading orders would identify non-RBBB vehicles. The RBBB business records for the 1949-1951 era are also preserved and the contracts and correspondence therein might spell out the exact details of the RBBB-Paramount deal.
        It may be a case wherein some of the heavier special lighting that was erected in the big top and the multiple extra generators went with the train, but more sensitive and valuable cameras and other filming equipment went overland by trucks rented for the purpose. In order to film certain sequences, the film crew would have had to arrive before the circus, almost surely indicative of separate travel arrangements to some degree. Fred Dahlinger

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