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|Named Person:||P T Barnum; Thomas A Edison; P T Barnum; Thomas A Edison|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
|Description:||viii, 369 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm|
|Contents:||The 200-pound baby --
The Elephant --
The Elephantine Expedition --
The War between the States, the Battle of the Dwarfs --
The fire, the plowing elephant, the panic, and the "dusky attendant" --
Crooked tale, crooked tail --
The continued magic of kindness and the first beauty contest --
The Wizard --
The White Elephant War --
Eph's escape, pickpockets, and pink lemonade --
The Tree of Knowledge and the Fearless Frogman --
Another war begins --
The executioner's experiments --
The Chair --
Reading your own obituary --
The great name vanishes --
Topsy somersaults, gold dust and Duncan get a home --
The Wizard's latest marvel and so many elephants --
Sid Sorrows, Topsy traipses --
Topsy and the tormentor --
From Lady Moody to the billion-dollar smile --
"Here I am! Here I am! Where are you?" --
The big swim.
At the turn of the century, the circus in America was at its apex with the circuses of P.T. Barnum and Adam Forepaugh competing in a War of the Elephants, with declarations of whose pachyderms were younger, bigger, or more "sacred". This brought Topsy to America. In 1903, on Coney Island, Topsy was electrocuted, a victim of the War of the Currents, in which Edison, George Westinghouse, and Nikola Tesla battled over alternating versus direct current. Daly weaves together period Americana, circus tidbits and larger than life characters for an entertaining read.
Michael Daly vividly revives a rollicking pachydermal tale that riveted New Yorkers a century ago and still survives in a gruesome YouTube video. Daly . . . provides perceptive insights into circus
- Barnum, P. T. -- (Phineas Taylor), -- 1810-1891.
- Edison, Thomas A. -- (Thomas Alva), -- 1847-1931.
- Topsy (Elephant)
- Circus animals.
- Circus owners -- United States -- Biography.
- Inventors -- United States -- Biography.
- Circus -- United States -- History.
- Electrocution -- Experiments.
- Circus animals -- United States -- History -- 20th century.