Barnum and Bailey Circus, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States, was founded in 1888 and the first elephant arrived in 1888. The last elephant left in 1919. Barnum and Bailey Circus closed down in 1919 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, .
Winterquarters in Bridgeport
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)
1881: P. T. Barnum merged with Cooper and Bailey Circus(owned by James Bailey and James L. Hutchinson), "P.T. Barnums Greatest Show On Earth, And The Great London Circus, Sangers Royal British Menagerie and The Grand International Allied Shows United", soon shortened to "Barnum & London Circus".
1885: P. T. Barnum and James Bailey split up again in 1885, but came back together in
1888: with the "Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show On Earth", later "Barnum & Bailey Circus", which toured around the world. The shows primary attraction was Jumbo, an African elephant he purchased in 1882 from the London Zoo.
1889: Barnum and Bailey bought the Carl Hagenbeck Circus in Germany from Carl Hagenbeck. When Barnums came to Londons Olympia in 1889 they travelled with 450 performers, 300 horses, 21 elephants, 32 cages and 35 parade and baggage wagons.
1891: P. T. Barnum died on April 7, 1891.
1891: Bailey purchased the circus from Barnums widow. He ran many successful tours through the eastern United States and also Canada.
Barnum & Bailey Circus elephant parade on Blvd St Laurent, Montreal. Le Monde Illustré, August 3, 1895.
"Harry Mooney was hired while Barnum & Bailey was making its European tour (1898-02) and remained with that show until the Ringling-Barnum merger in 1919. He then went to Australia."
They took 18 elephants to Europe, 10 large and 8 small. Of the three men in the lighter uniforms, the one at left is William "Elephant Bill" Newman and the one in the center is George Bates standing next to "Mandrin". There were 4 big males "Fritz" at left is easy to spot, at the extreme left partially hidden is another tusker "Don Pedro" and the 4th male "Nick" was tuskless. All four of these males died in Europe. Among the 6 females were "Gyp" (Gypsy) dating back to the early 1870s with P.T. Barnum as well as "Babe" and "Columbia" the latter now is 18 years old. The punks were "Pilate" (male), "Chief" (male), "Queen", "Juno", "Coco" (tuskless male), "Bessie", "Mary" and "Ruth" (yes this is "BabyRuth" later owned by Wm. Hall). These young elephants were added in the early 1890s and not to be confused with Pilate, Chief, and Queen of the 1880s. As regards to Cooper & Bailey in Australia the 1877 Route Book states: "Titania" presented by Prof. Geo. W. Johnston. That same year a Melbourne program has: "Betsey" trained by Charles Warner. Again in 1878 we see: "Titania" presented by George Johnson. This man Johnson was later Menagerie Supt. with B&B in the 1880s. I get the feeling that Cooper & Bailey only had one elephant in Australia and her name was "Betsy" and her stage name "Titania".