Cooper and Bailey Circus in United States

Cooper and Bailey Circus
OwnerJames Bailey and James L. Hutchinson
First elephant arrived1860
Last elephant left1881
Closed down1881
PlacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
CountryUnited States
Relevant literature

Cooper and Bailey Circus, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, was founded in 1860 and the first elephant arrived in 1860. The last elephant left in 1881. Cooper and Bailey Circus closed down in 1881 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, .

Comments / pictures

James Anthony Bailey had teamed with James E. Cooper to create the Cooper and Bailey Circus in the 1860s. Baileys circus was soon Barnums chief competitor.

1876-1878: On tour in Australia. The show taken on board numbered sixty-five people, fifteen horses, six elephants, one giraffe, one hippopotamus and nine cages of animals.

1879: Cooper and Bailey owned 10 elephants, incuding a pregnant elephant female. (Hoage, Deiss, From Menagerie to Zoological Park in the Nineteenth Century, page 103)

Bailey was the first to display an electric light in 1879, a year before Thomas Edison patented it. He also exhibited "Little Columbia," the first baby elephant ever born in an American circus.

Barnum wanted to buy the elephant, but Bailey turned him down. Instead of continuing as competitors, each man recognized the showmanship of the other, and decided to combine their shows in 1881. The combined show enjoyed great success with acts such as the worlds largest elephant, Jumbo in 1882.

Barnum died on April 7, 1891 and Bailey purchased the circus from Barnums widow.

References for records about Cooper and Bailey Circus

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2021). Cooper and Bailey Circus, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

  • The Australian Tour of Cooper, Bailey & Co.s Great International Allied Shows Route Book (1877)
  • Hoage, Deiss, From Menagerie to Zoological Park in the Nineteenth Century, page 103

Search more with Google for Cooper and Bailey Circus

Search more on the Internet Web for Cooper and Bailey Circus

Categoriescircus in United States | United States portal

This document was updated: 2020-10-30 07:03:11

Elephant Encyclopedia and database

Established 1995
Established 2006
Search for keywords
Your ip: