Thursday, 24 April 2014
Lo Lo, a dwarf black elephant in Philadelphia
Thanks again to Richard Muirhead who found this reference to "dwarf black elephants" from one of his many trawls of online newspaper archives. He apologises for neglecting to note the date or newspaper. (Please contact me if I've inadvertently reproduced your copyrighted material, although since the article's from 1910 at the very latest, the copyright's likely to have inspired.). The reference to the Ninth and Arch Museum (Philadelphia) would put it between 1885 and 1910. The Ninth and Arch hosted numerous freak show attractions, the most famous them being John William Coffey, the "Skeleton Dude," the most famous of many Skeleton Men carnival acts.
The article refers to yet another gigantic elephant and dwarf elephant double act - Kedah the giant white elephant (said to be from Siam - Thailand - but most unlikely, as white elephants were meant to be presented to the King of Thailand) and Lo Lo, the "dwarf black elephant". Pygmy Elephants describes two more giant and dwarf elephant act - the very famous Jumbo and Tom Thumb of PT Barnum's circus, and Campbell's Zoological and Equestrian Institute in 1863 had a large African elephant and a small, dark Indian elephant, judging by one of the Institute's posters.
All the giant and "dwarf" or "pygmy" elephant circus double acts seem to have been an adult and an infant.