Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Spader Johnson

A turn of the century photo of Barnum & Bailey alley great Spader Johnson, widely known in his day as "The King of the Clowns", remembered for Barber Shop Gag which brought him to prominence in the last decades of the 19th century.

On the Barnum & Bailey European tour (1898 to 1902) he apparently performed with an elephant named Mary:

Display 5: "Children´s Number. Five Concurrent Exhibitions of many Cleverly Trained Animals. This was Spader Johnson in ring 1 with baby elephant "Mary", Capt. Wills with seals at stage 1, Misko with a horse and dog act in the middle ring, Charles White with pigmy goats at stage 2 and Harry Wentworth with educated pigs at ring 3.

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