Elephants owned, residing and performing with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus can be found at several different locations, which have been divided up for clarification of record keeping and to give a better idea of herd identifications. They include:
- Ringling Brothers Circus (1884 - 1918)
- Barnum & Bailey Circus (1888 - 1918)
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (1919 - 1968)
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Blue Unit (1969 - present)
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Red Unit (1969 - present)
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Gold Unit (1988 - present)
- Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus European Tour (1963 - 1964)
- Circus World at Polk City (1974 - 1984
- Ringling Retirement Farm at Williston (1984 - 2010)
- Ringling Brother's Center for Elephant Conservation (1995 - present)
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, shortened RBBB, or Ringlings today, was a 1919 merge between Ringling Brothers Circus (1884 - 1918) and Barnum & Bailey Circus (1888 - 1918).
1918: "When the 1918 season ended and the decision was made to combine the shows in the Bridgeport, CT. winter quarters, the Ringlings brought 23 elephants with them. Those 23 are reflected in my list I sent you. Barnum & Bailey already had 18 of their own. Barnum & Bailey had Pilate (male Asian died on October 27, 1918 in winterquarters. Ringling lost Mary on March 19, 1919 and the shows sold Baby to the Rockford, Ill. Zoo or Park bringing us the 38 elephants that became the 1919 RBBB herd." //Bob Cline
John Patterson was Menagerie Supt. from (1907 Barnum & Baileys) merge through 1925. George Denman was elephant man at Ringling for 26 seasons, having been in the elephant Dept. with Barnum & Bailey when that show was purchased by the Ringlings. He retired during the 1933 season (died in 1937) and was replaced by another old timer Bill Emory, wo also was in charge. //Buckles Woodcock
1919: March 29, "Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows" debuted at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The posters declared, "The Ringling Bros. Worlds Greatest Shows and the Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth are now combined into one record-breaking giant of all exhibitions."
1919-11: Charlie was added.
1920: 45 elephants. (New York clipper)
RBBB Elephants Parade Down Fifth Avenue, New York, 1921. The circus was a resounding success through the "Roaring 20s", making John Ringling one of the richest men in the world.//Buckles Woodcock
1921: Four elephants exported back to Hagenbecks in Germany from USA: Jess, Barnum Queen, Veneda, and Mary.
1922-09: Palm was added
1922-11-05: new elephants: Marcella, Emma, Alice, Bingo, Mary and Joe.
1923-11-10: new elephants: Blanche, Joyce, Mabel, Rose, Eva, Minnie, Dolly, May and Briggs.
1924: 44 elephants. 36 went on tour: John, Dutch, Ryo, Judy, Hazel, Romeo, Topsy, Alice, Juno, Joe, Babe, Mabel, Lizzie, Queen, Bessie, Nelly, Fanny, Jenny, Emma, Katie, Mary, Wilhelmina, Joyce, Barnum Nellie, Palm, Modoc, Clara, Hattie, Sammy, Marcella, Pinto, Bingo, Trilby, Blanche, Albert, Rose. Remaining 8 at Bridgeport: Barnum Bessie, Coco, Eva, Minnie, Dolly, May, Briggs and Charlie.
1924: Nelle sold to Houston Zoo.
1926: Charles Ringling died.
1929: Ringling Brothers purchased American Circus Corporation (which consisted of Sells-Floto Circus, Al G. Barnes, Sparks Circus, Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, and John Robinson Circus). When John Ringling purchased the American Circus Corporation in 1929 the five circuses included 57 elephants ranging from 13 with Hagenbeck-Wallace to 9 with Sparks.
1929: Ringling is owner of 90 elephants, among them 10 asian bulls, a world record.
1930: 2 elephants sold before tour, Eva to Erie Zoo, Sammy to Detroit Zoo (euthanised there in 1938).
1933: Ringling tours with 40 elephants (8 came from Sparks Circus) to Chicago: 1. Alice, 2. Sparks Alice, 3. Babe, 4. Sparks Babe, 5. Bingo, 6. Blanche, 7. Bonnie, 8. Clara, 9. Dolly, 10. Duchess, 11. Eva, 12. Emma, 13. Fannie, 14. Hattie, 15. Hazel, 16. Jess, 17. Jenny, 18. Joe, 19. Joyce, 20. Juno, 21. Katie, 22.Lizzie, 23. Mable, 24. Marchella, 25. Mary, 26. Sparks Mary, 27. Minnie, 28. Little Modoc, 29. Modoc, 30. Sparks Myrtle, 31. Nellie, 32. Palm, 33. Pinto, 34. Barnum show Queen, 35. Rosie, 36. Little Tillie (Sparks Queen), 37. Topsy, 38. Little Trilby, 39. Wilhelmina, 40. Yasso.
Due to labor trouble, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus tour closed in Scranton, Pa. on June 22, and the circus returned to winter quarters at Sarasota, Florida. Many of the outstanding features, and a trainload of physical equipment, were sent from Sarasota to augment the Ringling-owned Al G. Barnes-Sells Floto Circus at Redfield, S. D. From Redfield until the close of the 1938 seasonCircus Historical Society, Al G. Barnes & Sells-Floto Routes, courtesy of John Polacsek and Bob Cline
1938: The RBBB elephant herd was added with 17 elephants from Al G. Barnes-Sells Floto Circus: Trilby, Tony, Kas, Jewel, Frieda, Lois, Modoc, Mary, Dolly, Floto Jennie, Josky, Ruth, Babe, Barnes Jennie, Palm, Topsy and Minnie.
1942-08-04: Four elephants died in the 1942 Cleveland Menagerie fire. Ringling Rosy, One Eyed Troby, Kas, and Wallace Rosie.
1947: Ringling bought 5 elephants from Circus Hagenbeck, and hired Hugo Schmitt as elephant trainer, who stayed on Ringling until 1971.
1948: The Ringling Circus has a reported 49 elephants (Billboard 27 mar 1948). Katie died.
Chang Reynolds names 36 elephants on RBBB for 1948.
1955: "Circus left Sarasota with 51 and the small African "Louie" (later "Diamond") had been delivered in Detroit, meking the herd 52 elephants. While there I noticed them building a pit show type truck that would take two punks ahead of the show reducing the herd to an even 50. As fate would have it, in St. Petersburg while the show was playing it's final week, "Big Jewel" was struck by a car while the herd was marching to the train at night and died the following day in Tampa. So the show only returned to Sarasota with 49".//Buckles Woodcock
1963: Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus European Tour: John Ringling North framed an indoor cirus to tour Europe, bought an elephant act from the Chipperfields and hired two more acts in Europe to fill out the three rings.//Buckles Woodcock
1968: Together with 5 elephants bought from Chipperfield Circus for the European tour, came 13 elephants with Circus Wiilliams, those 18 elephants famed the new developed Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Red Unit (1969 - present). The original elephants were labelled as Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Blue Unit (1969 - present)
1972: Hugo Schmitt brought 19 elephants from UK, 12 of which had performed with the Billy Smart Circus and 7 were untrained.
1980-81: six elephants arrived from Burma with a star branded on their hip (Bonnie, Nicole, Alana and Icky who went to Axel Gautier, Siam and Bangkok who went to Gunther Gebel-Williams). Babe's is a star outline on both her hips. She measures almost ten feet tall.
Six female Asian elephants arrived to RBBB from Burma, via German animal dealer Firma Ruhe: Blue unit: 1.Alana, 2.Bonnie, 3.Icky II, 4.Nicole, Red unit: 1.Bangkok and 2.Siam II.
1995: the circus opened the Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida for the breeding, research, and retirement of its Asian Elephant herd.