Oddities, Circus, Fairs, Clowns, Ventriloquists, Puppets, Automatons

12569.

Madison Square Garden, NY. Barnum & Bailey, the Greatest Show on Earth poster.

12910.

The Carousel, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY.

12911.

Carousel, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY.

13001.

West Brighton Beach. The “Merry-go-around.” This is Chas. I.D. Looff’s 1st merry-go-around. He stands at the center.

Charles Looff was born as Carl Jürgen Detlev Looff on May 24, 1852 in Bad Bramstedt, Duchy of Holstein, German Confederation (temporary occupied by Denmark in second Schleswig War). His father Jürgen Detlef Christian Looff was a master blacksmith and wagon builder. Watching his father, Carl learned how to work with metal and wood. To avoid the coming war, Carl emigrated to the United States. Arriving in Castle Garden, New York City, on August 14, 1870, he changed his first name to Charles. In low German, the letters I and J look very much alike, and confusion set in as to his initials. Somehow, his name became Charles I. D. Looff instead of J. D. Looff.

Settling on Leonard Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, he found work as a carver at a furniture factory. Working part-time as a ballroom dance instructor, Looff met and married Anna Dolle, also from Germany, in 1874. After working in the furniture factory all day, he took scraps of wood home to his apartment and began carving them into carousel animals. Young Looff assembled his wooden horses and animals onto a circular platform and created his first merry-go-round. In 1876, he installed his ride at Lucy Vandeveer’s Bathing Pavilion at West Sixth Street and Surf Avenue. This was Coney Island’s first carousel and first amusement ride.

Looff opened a factory at 30 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn and continued building more carousels.

30010.

Unidentified ventriloquist.

30011.

Unidentified ventriloquist.

30012.

Unidentified ventriloquist.

30013.

Unidentified ventriloquist.

30014.

Gus White and his puppets.

30015.

Unidentified Ventriloquist. “With love from Tome & Willie.”

30016.

Prof. C.J. Singleton’s Merry Family, Original Picture, written on verso.

30017.

Unidentified puppeteer. Punch & Judy 1880 written on verso.

30018.

Unidentified Ventriloquist.

30019.

Unidentified puppeteers.

30020.

Unidentified puppeteers.

30021.

Unidentified ventriloquist. 1916 on front. RPPC.

30022.

Unidentified ventriloquist.

30023.

E.D. Davies, ventriloquist.

30024.

E.D. Davies, ventriloquist.

30025.

Unidentified ventriloquist.

30026.

Gus White and puppets.

30027.

Tent and banner for Gus White Puppeteer Show.

30028.

Tickets to the Gus White Punch Show.

30029.

This is Mr. J.N. Maskelyne and his automaton “Zoe.”

30029.

This is Mr. J.N. Maskelyne and his automaton “Zoe.”

30030.

Music by Mechanism. Mr. Maskelyne and his automatons Fanfare and Labial.

30031.

Mr. J.N. Maskelyne & his famous automaton “Psycho.” 22 inches high, cross-legged, turbaned Indian figure, solved arithmetical problems, identifies playing cards, and plays whist.

30032.

Charles Prelle, Electro-Ventriloquist.

30033.

Niar? Blume and his automatons. Likely a ventriloquist as well. I cannot find anything on him.

30034.

Prof. J.H. Master, Mimic, Ventriloquist, and Figures.

30035.

Prof. J.H. Master’s Figures.

30036.

Prof. J.H. Master’s Figures.

30037.

Trio of Scotsman, Clown, & Native-American.

30038.

Clown.

30039.

Clown. Signed on the back “Yours Aye Arnold J. Henderson.”

30040.

Written on back “Freda Ley? & Bob.” They are dressed as Pierrot & Pierrette with puppet.

30041.

Santa Claus.

30042.

Santa Claus.

30043.

Santa Claus and Elf.

30044.

Santa Claus and the Bear.

30045.

Charles S. Tallman, sole survivor of schooner Christine, wrecked off Cape Poge, Vineyard Sound, January 7th, taken off January 11th, 1866, with limbs so badly frozen as to render amputation necessary–was four days on the wreck in sight of the church spires at Hyannis.

30046.

Charles S. Tallman, sole survivor of schooner Christine, wrecked off Cape Poge, Vineyard Sound, January 7th, taken off January 11th, 1866, with limbs so badly frozen as to render amputation necessary–was four days on the wreck in sight of the church spires at Hyannis.

30047.

A. Donato. 1876.

30048.

A. Donato. 1876.

30049.

Man with prosthetic legs.

30050.

Man with uneven leg lengths.

30051.

Man with prosthetic leg.

30052.

Max J. Engel, 824 Abbott Road, Buffalo, N.Y. I left Buffalo Sept. 20th, ’97 (weight 120 lbs.) with my dog Carlo, contemplating a trip to New York city. Carlo is 6 years old, weighs 87 lbs. and has been drawing a wagon for 5 years. My misfortune is due to an accident on the D.L. & W.R.R. in the year 1890.

30053.

Circassian Snake Woman.

30054.

Jobeide Luti, Circassian Lady.

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