Wilhelm Philadelphia

From the list of elephant persons Family: Philadelphia

Wilhelm Philadelphia
Profession circus elephant trainer
Personal details
Born 1854 in Germany
Dead 1921-04-28 in Germany
Country Germany

Title chief elephant trainer 1921-1921
Location at Circus Sarrasani in Germany

Title elephant trainer 1903-1904
Location at Hagenbeck Animal Show at St. Louis Worlds Fair in United States

Title chief elephant trainer-1921
Location at Circus Carl Hagenbeck-Stellingen in Germany

Title elephant head-keeper
Location at Carl Hagenbecks Tierpark (Stellingen) in Germany

Relevant literature
Biography details

Wilhelm "William" Philadelphia , circus elephant trainer in Germany

Born 1854 in Germany dead 1921-04-28 in Germany , son of animal trainer Alexander Philadelphia and wife Josepha Philadelphia .

Affiliation with 5 elephants

1: Böse Rosa (from 1921 to 1921) 2: Mustard II (from 1898 to 1892) 3: Salt (from 1898 to 1902) 4: Sauce (from 1898 to 1902) 5: Vinager (from 1898 to 1902)

1892: Two of Wilhelm Hagenbeck's early key collaborators were the aforementioned Julius Seeth, and Wilhelm Philadelphia (1854-1921), Carl Krone Jr.'s uncle.

While in Hamburg, Carl Krone Jr. entered in contact with them, and learned about Hagenbeck’s last sensational creation: The riding lion. Philadelpia and Seeth had trained a young lion to ride a horse around the ring. This attraction, documented for the first time in 1889 when it appeared at Paris' Hippodrome de l'Alma, was probably the principal reason for one of circus history's major technical innovations: the circular cage made of removable panels, developed by the Hagenbecks. The riding lion became all the rage in the industry: In a few years, Wilhelm Hagenbeck was able to deliver twelve different versions of the act in Europe, U.S.A. and Australia.

1921-04-28: Rosa, the cow elephant on Circus Sarrasani, crushed the trainer Wilhelm Philadelphia to death on the wall of her box at the Sarrasani Circus in Berlin, 1921.


Siblings through the father Alexander Philadelphia (1811 -- ):

  1. Friederike Philadelphia

Wilhelm Philadelphia s ancestral Ahnentafel:


Wilhelm Philadelphia
Born: 1854

Friedrich Philadelphia

Born: 1811

Paternal Grandfather:
Samuel Philadelphia

Paternal Great-grandfather:
Jacob Meyer Meyer
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Paternal Grandmother:

Paternal Great-grandfather::
Paternal Great-grandmother:

Josepha Philadelphia


Maternal Grandfather:

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Maternal Grandmother:

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). elephant trainer Wilhelm "William" Philadelphia in Germany. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 21 July 2024 at https://www.elephant.se/person.php?id=138. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

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Categories elephant trainer | circus | Circus Sarrasani | Philadelphia family | Born 1854 | Dead 1921 | People from Germany

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