Friday, February 3, 2012

I've Said it Before, and I'll Say It Again, There Is No Uglier Wagon On the CWM Lot Then The Arthur Bros. #11 Ticket Wagon.

Side Show Bandwagon Circus Historical Society

By Joseph T. Bradbury. Bandwagon, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Jul-Aug), 1963, pp. 16-17.

The Circus World Museum of Baraboo recently added to its fast growing collection of old circus wagons a ticket wagon that served on Hagenbeck-Wallace in the 1930's. It was donated by Louis Goebel and the first photo shows it upon arrival in Baraboo in April, 1963, from Thousand Oaks, Calif., where it had been in storage for many years.

This wagon is easily identified by the rounded and grooved posts that surround a panel for paintings on the sides of the wagon; a skyboard which at various times had either carvings, painted designs, or lettering; and a bottom drop frame on which was tacked carvings. The wagon first appeared in its present form in 1934 on the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. Most probably on old drop frame wagon at the Peru quarters were remodeled into this one. Some speculate it could have been a rebuild of the 1933 H-W grandstand ticket wagon, but if so, although the profiles of both wagons were very much the same, the rebuild was extensive enough to prevent a positive statement from the examination of photographs alone. Several similar wagons were available at Peru that could have figured in the rebuild. Although at times some new wagon construction did take place at Peru as late as 1934 most of the work consisted of rebuilding, interchange of wheels, gears, parts, etc. After John Robinson went off the road following the 1930 season and Sells-Floto after 1932 a great number of excess wagons were on hand. The best of these were utilized by remodeling, and rebuilding, Hagen beck -Wallace, the last of the Peru shows on the road, had the choice of the best of them in the large wagon pool.

In 1934 the wagon was No. 41 and was used as the sideshow bandwagon in the big street parade featured that year. Both sides of the wagon had full length cartoon type paintings of Mickey Mouse and his friends. On one side was "Mickey's Circus," the other side had "Mouseville." In his book "Clown," Emmett Kelly claims to have done this art work at the Peru quarters in the winter of 1933-34.

For 1935 the street parade was dropped as a daily feature although some parades were given during the season. The wagon was slightly remodeled and a door was cut into one side and it was used as the grandstand ticket wagon that season. The carvings were removed from the skyboard and it was lettered "Reserved Seat Tickets." To prevent the Forepaugh-Sells title from falling into public domain as it had not been used since 1911 that name was tacked onto the Hagenbeck-Wallace title and the door side of the wagon was decorated with the full title of Hagenbeck-Wallace and Forepaugh-Sells Combined done in beautiful script. A clown with hoop painting completed the art work on that side. The other side had a large painting of the busts of Carl Hagenbeck, Ben Wallace, Adam Forepaugh, and two of the Sells brothers.

In 1936 Hagenbeck-Wallace did not go out but remained in Peru quarters the entire year.

In 1937 the Hagenbeck-Wallace title and equipment for a 35-car show were leased from the Ringling interests by J. Frank Hatch and Edward Arlington who opened the season with a great run in Chicago. Shortly after going on the regular road trip they sold their interest to Howard Y. Bary who operated it for the rest of the season. A street parade was a daily feature for a short time early in the season. This wagon continued to serve as No. 41, the reserved seat wagon in 1937. The long side of the wagon was lettered with the title of Hagenbeck-Wallace Trained Wild Animal Circus and a painting of two sea lions each balancing a large ball was at each end of the title block. On the door side the clown and hoop remained but the script lettering of the long 1935 title was replaced by the shortened 1937 title. The skyboard was attractively decorated with painted designs but had no lettering.

Blackaman Grand Stand Ticket Wagon #41 Circus Historical Society

Bary put the show out again in 1938 although it was cut down to 28 cars and a different color scheme used for the train and wagons. Several new all steel wagons equipped with dual pneumatic tires arrived from the Springfield Wagon Works. The ticket wagon remained as No. 4 and the skyboard again was lettered A most attractive full length side painting of Blacaman, the Hindu Animal Hypnotist and feature of the 1938 program adorned one side of the wagon and on the door side smaller Blacaman paintings were also used.

Despite almost fantastic odds against the show it made a full season in 1938 but went broke in Riverside, Calif., in mid-September when creditors began seizing the canvas and other properties. The Ringling interests, to whom most of the property still belonged, shipped it from Riverside to Baldwin Park and after Bary,'s efforts failed to organize a 15-car show to continue the 1938 tour they stored the property while the creditor's litigation continued.

In the spring of 1939 parties made an attempt to launch a 15-car railroad show under the title of the Great American Circus using property leased from the defunct H-W show but after union trouble and other difficulties the show folded following a few stands. After that the Hagenbeck-Wallace property was sold off and that grand old show became only a memory.

The ticket wagon, along with the rest of the steel tired baggage wagons and cages, and some of the new pneumatic tired wagons were sold to Louis Goebel who moved them to his place in Thousand Oaks. It was his intention to use them mainly for movie rentals.

In 1945 the ticket wagon was one of several of the H-W wagons that Goebel leased to the new 15-car Arthur Bros. Circus. Both sides of the wagon were painted with the title and a huge leaping tiger. A good photo of this ticket wagon on the Arthur Bros. Circus was printed in the Nov.-Dec., 1962, issue of Bandwagon.

Following the close of Arthur Bros. at end of the 1945 season the ticket wagon went back to Goebel and was stored at his World Jungle Compound in Thousand Oaks where it remained until it left for Baraboo this past April. From 1946 to 1963 it appeared with a variety of titles and paintings on it when used in many movies and television shows.

It is the intention of the Circus World Museum to immediately restore the wagon to its former glory so that it can also roll in the big Milwaukee street parade on July 4. The Museum is extremely pleased to have acquired this wagon and circus historians everywhere are most grateful to Mr. Goebel for his kindness in donating it where it can be restored and kept as a living reminder for all times of the old Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus.

From Bob Cline's Blog

From Chris Berry:

According to an article by Joseph Bradbury in the July-Aug 1963 issue of "Bandwagon" this wagon first appeared in this form as the sideshow bandwagon (No. 41) for the Hagenbeck Wallace 1934 street parade. Wagon historians believe it was rebuilt from an earlier wagon in 1933. In 1935 a door was cut in it and following other modifications it became the "Hagenbeck Wallace 4Paw-Sells" grandstand ticket wagon. For that season it had the portraits of Hagenbeck, Wallace, Forepaugh and the Sells Bros painted on one side, the extended title of the show on the other. For the 1938 season it had a portrait of "Blacaman" and wild animals painted on its sides. When H-W closed that year, Louis Goebel bought this wagon (and the others) and moved them to Thousand Oaks. In 1945 the ticket wagon was leased to Arthur Bros, and as you mention the Charging Tiger was painted on both sides. It appeared in a variety of movies and television shows between 1946 and 1963 when it was acquired by the Circus World Museum.

Arthur Bros. #11 Ticket Wagon

From Flint:

The Arthur Bros. #11 ticket wagon (formerly HW) had the most beautiful tigers painted on the sides for years at CWM. When the time came to restore it we did it with great historic accuracey. The skyboard scrollwork disappeared, the corner columns were painted orange and the most God-awful tigers were painted on it. Certainly not as pretty as it once was BUT it is now historically accurate and matches the old pictures of it.

Arthur Bros. #11 Ticket Wagon

What am I missing here? Is the wagon above the #11 as it appears today? Is it the same wagon painted differently from the photo above(both versions are horrible?) Is it the same wagon that Bob Cline pictured on his blog? Is it the Hagenbeck-Wallace Blackaman #41 pictured second from the top? Is it the Hagenbeck-Wallace Side Show Band Wagon pictured at the top, donated to Baraboo in 1963 by Louis Goebel "WHERE IT CAN BE RESTORED AND KEPT AS A LIVING REMINDER FOR ALL TIMES OF THE OLD HAGENBECK-WALLACE CIRCUS."

Why does Joseph T. Bradbury(who is usually not wrong) state in the article above in 1963 from Bandwagon along with a picture, that the wagon that went to Baraboo in 1963 was painted with Mickey Mouse and Mouseville? In an effort to honor donator Louis Goebels wishes "WHERE IT CAN BE RESTORED AND KEPT AS A LIVING REMINDER FOR ALL TIMES OF THE OLD HAGENBECK-WALLACE CIRCUS" this "Arthur Bros." wagon in the last photo is what Baraboo decided on???? What in Heavens name was wrong with the first or second Hagenbeck-Wallace wagons at the top of the page? If you are going to repaint or touch up a Rembrandt with a Campbell Soup can because you don't have Andy Warhol represented in your collection, you are a moron of colossal proportions, undeserving of the title Museum Director. If money is short, that's understandable and it's a problem with many of the worlds great museums. Put it aside, and move on to other project's, and come back to it when funds are available. Don't Picasso punk it up, just because you want one.....................Geez


Anonymous said...

Dear Wade-
I couldn't agree with you more. Just remember- we in the shop did as we were told to do by the management (board of directors).

Wade G. Burck said...

I am in no way blaming the fine craftsmen tolling in the shop. I saying the Directors should not have been able to make the horrid blunder that they made. Maybe there needs to be a "stop/gap" system initiated similar to the one that prevents a President from making a mistake in case of a nuclear attack.
I wish I had never even started looking at the history of these beautiful wagons, because now it pisses me off. :)


Bob K said...

And then there is the reporter that labeled this the Arth Bros. Circus, because the tiger covered the "th".

Wade G. Burck said...

The original tiger on the wagon looks like it was painted by the show electrician or one of the prop hand's as a stipulation of their "must do two or more" hiring agreement.