Press Clippings for the week ending
Saturday, 16 August 2008

A random selection of clippings
from newspapers and magazines

Misfortunes beset Wombwell's
Menagerie, England, 1827

'Escape of a young Tiger from Mr. Wombwell's Caravan.'

(engraving: Pickering, London, 1827)

'Diabolical Act.
'On Saturday, July 14th, 1827, Wombwell's Menagerie arrived in Dewsbury, on its way to Leeds Fair, and on Sunday morning, about two o'clock, some incendiary set fire to the large caravan, containing the Elephant, by throwing upon it an ignited substance, wrapped in some cloth. Fortunately an alarm was given by a person accidentally passing when the fire had only penetrated through the first covering of the canvas. The keepers were instantly roused, and by their prompt exertions, aided by a few of the inhabitants, the dreadful consequences were prevented which such a conflagration, if not suppressed in time, would have produced. It is horrible to think of the havoc and destruction which might have been effected by the stupendous powers of an enraged Elephant, and the ferocity of Lions, Tigers, and other ferocious animals, all let loose in a state of great excitement. Strong suspicion attaches to some individuals in the town, but Mr. Wombwell, disliking the trouble of a prosecution, declines taking any steps to bring the supposed offenders to justice.
(The London Register of Remarkable Events, London, Saturday, 28 July 1827, p. 111)

'A short time since, as Mr. Wombwell's collection of wild beasts were passing from Nottingham to Workshop, a small tiger effected his escape from one of the caravans, near to Mr. Ichabod Wright's Lodge, Mapperley, and entered the farm-yard of Mr. Thomas Ayre. Several persons contrived to get him into an out-house, and endeavoured to retake him by turning a dog in, but he nearly tore the dog to pieces.
'The tiger was obliged to be left there for the remainder of the night, but he again made his escape, and has not yet been recovered. It is generally supposed that he is still in some of the thickets of the forest, as several sheep, belonging to neighbouring farmers, have been worried in the vicinity of the forest. It is intended to form a party of gentlemen , and scour the forest for him.'
(The London Register of Remarkable Events, London, Saturday, 4 August 1827, p. 113)

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The Calhoun Opera Company,
headed by Alice Beauvet and Adele Farrington,
present the comic opera Amorita
at the Barton Opera House, Fresno, California,
week beginning Monday, 25 February 1895

Adele Farrington

Adele Farrington (1867-1936),
American actress and singer

(photo: Morrison, Chicago, circa 1895)

'A Large Audience Entertained at the Barton.
'The presentation of Amorita [by Alphons Czibulka] last night by the Calhoun Opera Company, fully justified the complimentary press notices sent in advance of the troupe. That Fresno appreciates light opera well rendered and well staged, was shown by the enthusiastic applause from the large audience during the evening.
'The opera was given with an attention to detail that bespoke careful and excellent management.
'Miss Alice Beauvet, the soprano, took the part of Amorita, presenting a picture of beauty and singing with a finish, that showed careful culture. She was favored with several encores.
'Adele Farrington, pretty and shapely, played the part of Angelo, the persevering lover, under difficulties, to perfection, being warmly applauded in the duet with Amorita.
'Frederick Huntley, as Fra Bombarda, sang well with a strong tenor voice and acted better, make a good impression on the audience.
'there have been better comedians than Douglass Flint, but as far as his part would permit, and with the help of local hits, he succeeded in provoking the laughter of his audience on numerous occasions.
'The pickaninnies, with their buck and wing dancing, out to be mentioned, being recalled three times.
'Paul Egry, of the company's orchestra, favored the audience with violin selections between the second and third acts, and was warmly applauded.
'Taken altogether the Calhoun Opera Company shows a well balanced troupe, of good voices and a pretty and shapely chorus, which letter seemed to be thoroughly appreciated by the bald-headed row.
'Shaw & Craig's Comedy Company will begin a week's engagement at the opera house on March 4th.'
(The Fresno Morning Independent, Fresno, California, Tuesday, 26 February 1895, p. 1b; for details of Miss Farrington's film appearances, see The Internet Movie Database)

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A gift for the Shah of Persha:
a Columbia Phonograph Co
multiplex Graphophone Grand
is delivered to his palace by camel, 1901

Columbia Phonograph Co

advertisement for the Columbia Phonograph Co

(artwork by J. O'Neill, New York, 1897)

'Never, in the history of present making, has so original and elaborate a gift been made by a subject to his sovereign as the one recently ordered in Washington from the Columbia Phonograph Co., by the Persian minister, for presentation to the Shah of Persia. 'This magnificent gift, which was shipped March 21st [1901] from the factory of the American Graphophone Co., Bridgeport, Conn., consists of a multiplex Graphophone Grand and thirty-four barrels of records and blank cylinders.
'The machine was built on the model of the one exhibited at the Paris Exposition last summer, and which attracted the attention and won the admiration of visitors from all parts of the world. It is the most wonderful sound reproducing mechanism ever constructed and it contains new features in addition to those embodied in the famous Graphophone Grand. It uses three separate horns, acting in absolute unison with three separate and distinct records, each one of which gives the same loud, pure tone as that of the Graphophone Grand. The combination of all three in unison, gives an intensity of volume and a sweetness and richness of tone which seem almost beyond belief and results are obtained that is difficult to realize are within the possibilities of round reproducing mechanism.
'One of the interesting features of this precious shipment is that it will complete the last stage of its journey - from Batum to Teheren - on the backs of camels, and it goes without saying that no present that has ever been received at the palace of the Shah created even a small fraction of the interest that will be awakened when this phenomenal instrument, from far away Connecticut, makes it appearance and lifts up its wondrous voices.'
(The Ford Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Tuesday, 26 March 1901, p. 4c)

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© John Culme, 2008