Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Unknown From Yesterday Update

Is that John Benson, on the right behind the elephant with the skimmer hat on? Any other folks identifiable in this photo from the 1930's. Note the warning sign on the presentation ring telling folks not to talk to the trainers.

Richard Reynolds

The 1934 diary of Boston Zoo Director Dan Harkins had this under his entry for Wednesday, May 23, 1934 - -

“Christoph Schulz, Arusha, Tanganyika, Africa arrived at pier 47, Mystsic docks, via SS Wido . . . Mr Schulz brought the smallest African elephant ever to arrive in this country. Included in the cargo also were 3 Masai giraffes, 2 Grant zebras, 1 oryx antelope, 3 white bearded gnus . . .”

The entry for the next day said that Harkins had breakfast with Schulz aboard the SS Wido, after which the animals were unloaded to be transported to Benson’s in Nashua, NH for quarantine.

On June 2, 1934 Harkins wrote that he drove to Benson’s animal farm and again visited with C. Schulz and son Walter. He noted that on hand were 2 African elephants, 1 large African rhino, plus the Masai giraffes and Grants zebras and oryx, presumably the ones off the ship.

The small elephant must be the one that went to Brookfield zoo and was reported in Parks and Recreation for July 1935 as “smallest baby African elephant in America . . . an African female named Honey that has been in the zoo since June 1934.”

In the photo the man on the left might be C. Schulz - - perhaps the one on the right is Harkins. These are just guesses, however.

Could this be the elephant "Honey" that RJR mentioned yesterday in these photo's taken at Benson's in the 1930's, the "smallest baby African Elephant in the United States" that later went to Brookfield in 1934? The dark glass bottle looks the same. The Asian I think was named Betsy and was the Benson ride elephant for many years. Does anyone know who the two gentlemen are in these pictures and the first picture? Carl Neuffer was Betsy's trainer in the 30's-40's. Could that be he in the pith helmet?


Anonymous said...

Pink Madison came to Benson's in 1966 or 1967. I believe that Slivers left sometime in mid 1966. Pink and Slivers were brothers.

Carl Neuffer is the gentleman in the white hat.

Carla Steinhauer said...

I am Carl Neuffer's daughter so I can say with some expertise that he is not the man in the pith helmet