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Does anyone know who the first person was that was shot out of a cannon at the circus?

Thanks. Sally, Salrake

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I believe that a Samuel Lockhart was the first person to be shot out of a cannon. I would be interested to know if it is true. Samuel Lockhart was born in Leamington Spa in 1850. George and Samuel Lockhart were clowns acrobats and equestrians. They were sent to Ceylon by the Rosinski Agency after which they had a speciality act using elephants – The 3 Graces and The Cruet. Sam used to take his elephants bathing in the river near the Mill Suspension Bridge in Leamington. He trained the ‘Royal Elephants Jock and Jenny and was commanded to exhibit them to the Prince of Wales at Marlborough House and he also appeared before Queen Victoria at Olympia in 1889. I would be grateful for any further information.

Many thanks, E. Reeves

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This act may have first been performed on circuses in 1875. You should take a look at Fred Pfening, Jr.’s Bandwagon articles: “Human Cannonballs,” Nov.-Dec. 1976, pp. 4-14; Nov.-Dec. 1978, pp. 4-14. Circus World Museum research library has a file on ‘Cannon Acts’ (may be under Thrill Acts) and also may be able to supply you with a photocopy of Pfening’s articles.

Circus World Museum Library, 550 Water Street, Baraboo, WI 53913

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