Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, in Venice, Florida, United States, was founded in 1919 and the first elephant arrived in 1919. The last elephant left in 2017. Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus closed down in 2017 in Venice, Florida, .
Elephants owned, residing and performing with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus can be found at several different locations, which have been divided up for clarification of record keeping and to give a better idea of herd identifications. They include:
- Ringling Brothers Circus (1884 - 1918)
- Barnum & Bailey Circus (1888 - 1918)
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (1919 - 1968)
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Blue Unit (1969 - present)
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Red Unit (1969 - present)
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Gold Unit (1988 - present)
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus European Tour (1963 - 1964)
- Circus World at Polk City (1974 - 1984
- Ringling Retirement Farm at Williston (1984 - 2010)
- Ringling Brother's Center for Elephant Conservation (1995 - present)
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, shortened RBBB, or Ringlings today, was a 1919 merge between Ringling Brothers Circus (1884 - 1918) and Barnum & Bailey Circus (1888 - 1918).
At the close of the 1918 season, due the loss of both Al and Otto Ringling, as well World War I railroad restrictions, the surviving brothers decided to unite Ringling Bros. Worlds Greatest Shows and Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth.
The Baraboo, Wis. facility was closed and this was the combined elephant herd in Bridgeport with the new Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows.
These are the combined Ringling and Barnum elephant herds at the shows quarters in Bridgeport about 1920 showing the 36 elephants taken on tour. Denman can be seen standing between rows two and three with hands on hips. It appears that they marched the herd through the neighborhood on the days the weather permitted.
Due to labor trouble, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus tour closed in Scranton, Pa. on June 22, and the circus returned to winter quarters at Sarasota, Florida. Many of the outstanding features, and a trainload of physical equipment, were sent from Sarasota to augment the Ringling-owned Al G. Barnes-Sells Floto Circus at Redfield, S. D. From Redfield until the close of the 1938 season
"Referring to my handy, dandy notebook I came up with this list for the 1955 Ringling elephant herd. The number in the show was "Mamas in the Park" which I have shown numerous pictures of on the Blog (little elephants in baby carriages). Elephants are listed in order of their seniority with the show. #22-28 are the seven punks added in 1953 "The Seven Wonders" and #29-48 are the twenty trained the previous winter by Louis Reed and Smokey Jones. Hugo Schmitt only presented the finished product in the ring since he had returned to the show with the understanding that he wouldnt have to be involved with overall operation.
Baptiste Schreiber arrived with elephants #49-50-51 arrived just prior to departure from Sarasota, bringing the herd to 51. The final elephant, "Louie" an African (name later changed to Diamond) was delivered to the show while playing Detroit in July. I might add that three more older elephants were left in Sarasota, "Ringling Jennie", "Eva" and "Wallace Jewel" making a grand total of 55.
1955 Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows Robt. "Smokey" Jones Ele. Supt. Hugo Schmitt Trainer Baptiste Schreiber
1. Marcella 2. B Modoc 3. Myrtle 4. W Trilby 5. B Ruth 6. B Babe 7. Jewel 8. Lois 9. Tony 10. Josky 11. S Mary 12. W Babe 13. W Ruth 14. Judy 15. Topsy 16. Kernaudi 17. Minyak 18. Mutu 19. Sabu 20. Icky 21. Emily** 22. Tex 23. Padmuh 24. Tara 25. Yamina 26. Rani 27. Seetna 28. Raji 29. Siam 30. India 31. Calcutta 32. Mysore 33. Cutie 34. Trixie 35. Luna 36. Lucy 37. Henry 28. Betty 29. Cass 30. Mo 41. L Mary 42. L Eva 43. Pinky 44. Suzanne 45. Fannie 46. Jean 47. Adele 48. L Rajee 49. Lizie 50. Blondie 51. Bambi 52. Louie**