FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY

You are exploring:  Library  >
 
Exhibits Home  > 
  
Animals Through Human Eyes: Vintage Zoological Illustrations  > 
  
Entertainment  > 
  
Circuses

Circuses




 

Leopard Strike

'Teddy the Tumbler; Or, Traveling with a Circus,' from Happy Days: A Paper for Young and Old, Vol. XLI, No. 1053, selection from front cover, Dec. 19 1914, Emmet, R.T., published by Frank Tousey: New York, USA

Scenes of animals attacking trainers or other performers during a show probably exhibit a more natural behavior of that animal than the circus routine. In this story, a circus leopard attacks a horse and its female rider. A man rides alongside to grab the girl, with the authorities also rushing to the rescue. At the publication date of this image, most animal training involved alternatives to beatings, although not all masters immediately adopted this method; many humanitarian clubs demanded to watch training sessions to enforce the accepted treatment of animals.

 

 

Circus Cut-Outs

Public Ledger, Color Supplement, p. 4, June 8 1919, published by Public Ledger Company: Philadelphia, USA

These colorful cartoon cut-outs render five circus animals – an elephant, pony, dog, monkey, and bear – cheerful clichés associated with the entertaining show. The bear and monkey each smile widely, as if the animals enjoy their respective performances. The elephant, labeled “good-natured,” acquires the name "Jumbo."[1] While certainly a straightforward nomenclature tied to the elephant’s chief peculiarity of size, the connection to a name also inspires a sense of personal familiarity. This push to represent happy animals may be a reaction to the early twentieth century exposure of training cruelties, which incited the spread of “Hagenbeck” training techniques in response to public backlash.[2]

 

References

[1] Public Ledger, Color Supplement, p. 4, June 8 1919, published by Public Ledger Company: Philadelphia, USA

[2] Animals & Men, p. 310-311, 1966, Dembeck, Hermann, translated by Richard and Clara Winston, published by Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd: London, UK