Circus Clowns, Box 58, 1948


Joel had marked this box with “Clowns” and “Clyde Baty”. The latter is the name of the circus, Clyde Beatty Circus.

Clyde Beatty (1903-1965) is considered the most famous American lion tamer and animal trainer, and had his own circus from 1945 to 1956. He also played in nine movies, starting in 1933 with “The Big Cage” and ending with his final film role in 1954, “Ring of Fear”.

We’ve seen quite a few images from his circus already in previous blog posts, it’s clear these images got mixed up in different boxes over the 1947-1948 period.

The image below is not from Joel, but a portrait of Clyde from the 1934 movie “The Lost Jungle”.

Clyde Beatty in “The Lost Jungle”, 1934 (Wikipedia)

Based on prior images of this circus, the venue was most likely in or around Oak Park, close to the Rural Cemetery, gravestones are visible in quite a few prior photographs.

Clyde Beatty Circus Clowns, Stockton, 1947-1948 (Printed)
Clyde Beatty Circus Clowns, Stockton, 1947-1948 (Printed)
Clyde Beatty Circus Clowns, Stockton, 1947-1948 (Printed)

The Clyde Beatty Circus calendar indicates the circus was in Stockton on May 5th in 1947, May 2nd in 1948, May 22nd in 1949 and May 24, 1950. The circus skipped Stockton in 1951, but was in Modesto on May 17.

So all images we’ve shown so far from this circus are either May 5, 1947 or May 2, 1948. I’m pretty sure we’ll encounter more circus images, Joel simply loved to photograph.

The rest of the images are mostly College of Pacific sports related.

COP, Swim meet, 1948, Jack Ferrill, captain of the team.
Howard Adams, SJC, high jump, 1948 (Printed)
Howard Adams, SJC, high jump, 1948 (Printed)

From the same SJC track meet we have this broadjump image.

SJC track meet, broad jump, 1948 (Printed) (Possibly Lee Goff)

Baseball, football, boxing and basketball are all represented in the mixed-up category.

Baseball, COP, 1948 (Printed)
Football, 1948
Football, 1948 (Printed)
Boxing, COP, 1947-1948
St-Mary versus Pacific, Basketball, 1947

Last image is totally lost here, Joel photographed a fellow photographer perched on top of a traffic light. Uncomfortable, but the (parade ?_ view must have been worth it.

COP Photographer holding a Graflex Crown Graphic camera with flash, 1948, Stockton (Printed)

The photographer is holding what appears to be a Graflex Crown Graflex, a very popular press camera post WWII. He’s aiming and framing through a sports finder, which implies the focal distance is preset through the Kalart viewfinder already. (Or he’s just totally winging it.)

Each flash use required the bulb to be replaced. Most photographers would over time have their fingerprints on thumb and index finger burned away through handling of the super hot flash bulbs.

Happy Fourth of July, 2022 !

Cheers !


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