W. B. Griffin Photographic Collection,1913-1979

Descriptive Summary

Title
W. B. Griffin Photographic Collection,1913-1979
Creator
Griffin, W. B., 1904-2000
Extent
1 cu. ft. (2 boxes): 103 items
Subjects
Barnum and Bailey
Barnum, P. T. (Phineas Taylor), 1810-1891
Circus
Circus--posters
Ringling Brothers
Animals
Circus
Sports and Recreation.
Animals
Circus
Music and Performing Arts
Sports and Recreation.
Bridges.
Circus
Sports and Recreation.
Military.
Music and Performing Arts.
Music and Performing Arts.
Men.
Circus
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Music and Performing Arts.
Sports and Recreation.
Circus
Men
Sports and Recreation.
Circus
Men
Sports and Recreation.
Men
Music and Performing Arts
Women.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts
Men
Music and Performing Arts
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Sports and Recreation.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts
Sports and Recreation.
Circus
Sports and Recreation.
Circus
Sports and Recreation.
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus.
Children
Circus
Men
Women.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts
Circus
Men
Women.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Family life.
Circus
Men.
Animals
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men.
Animals
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Women.
Circus
Women.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men
Women.
Children
Circus
Family life
Men
Women.
Circus
Men.
Children
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Women.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men
Women.
Circus
Men
Women.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men.
Children
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Animals
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men.
Animals
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men.
Circus
Men
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Men.
Animals
Circus
Men.
Circus.
Circus.
Circus.
Circus
Music and Performing Arts.
Circus
Railroads
Transportation.
Animals
Circus
Horses and Horse Industry.
Circus
Railroads
Transportation.
Circus.
Children
Circus.
Circus.
Circus.
Animals
Circus
Horses and Horse Industry.
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: Staff, Dana Whitaker, Richard N. Leigh; machine-readable finding aid created by:Richard N. Leigh
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
W. B. Griffin was the founder of W. B. Griffin and Son Insurance Administrators, and treasurer of Local 554 of the American Federation of Musicians. Both of these jobs required him to travel extensively, and he amassed two impressive collections: early pop music recordings (split between vinyl LPs and 78-RPM singles) and circus photographs. Griffin was an avid trumpeter as well, and frequently traveled with circuses to play as part of their 13-person bands. He especially admired Merle Evans, the "bandmaster" for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. In later life, the two became close friends and carried on a lengthy written correspondence. Griffin died in December of 2000, at the age of 96.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of one-hundred and three black and white silver prints. The collection is comprised primarily of portraits and publicity photographs, many of them from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. The bulk of the collection covers 1939-1967.

Contents of the Collection

Elephant standing on "1/2 ton of peanuts" in Suffolk, Virginia, at Dowmey Bros. Circus,, 1939

  • Box 1, item 001
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Two elephants with a trumpet player ,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 002
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Bridge over Salt River on U.S. Highway 60, Arizona,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 003
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Stevens Bros. Circus tents,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 004
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"Trooping the Colors," London; mailed from Middlesex, England, to Sarasota, Florida,, 1975

  • Box 1, item 005
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Tent at Aspen, Colorado, Music Festival,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 006
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Clyde Beatty Band ,, 1946

  • Box 1, item 007
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Man in formal coat and shoe-string tie [possibly Henry Kyes],, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 008
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Tige Hales Band [circus band],, 1951

  • Box 1, item 009
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Kitty Rostrum, Henry Kyes and Rex Rostrum with drum set marked "Polack Bros. Circus",, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 010
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Parade floats and beauty queens, Tampa, Florida,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 011
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Henry Kyes, Ziggy Elman, Sammy Steffer and Jerry Gold at Polack Circus, Los Angeles,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 012
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Circus fans of America; Henry Kyes, Tent #31, Springfield, Illinois,, 1942

  • Box 1, item 013
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Mrs. Karl King, a French horn player, Soike McKechnic, Henry Kyes, Karl King; Ft. Dodge, Iowa at…

  • Box 1, item 014
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Man playing trumpet on a balcony [probably Henry Kyes],, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 015
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Win' Danielson, organist, and Henry Kyes at airport in Sarasota, Florida,, 1960

  • Box 1, item 016
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Rehearsal at Ringling quarters in Venice, Florida,, 1961

  • Box 1, item 017
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Postcard of Gold Medal Circus Band, sent to Henry Kyes, Bandmaster, c/o Polack Bros. Circus, Boise…

  • Box 1, item 018
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Postcard featuring clown Ed Raymond,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 019
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Kyes and Ringmaster with majorette ,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 020
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Postcard of Long Beach Municipal Band, sent to Henry Kyes in Sarasota, Florida, mailed from Long…

  • Box 1, item 021
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Clyde Beatty Circus Band,, 1947

  • Box 1, item 022
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William Stephens and Henry Kyes in Hollywood, California, published in Billboard Magazine, November…

  • Box 1, item 023
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Autographed on back: "Harry Armstrong, old trouper, trumpet and Band Leader.",, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 024
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Color postcard of "The Great Wallendas," a circus troupe,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 025
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Group of men, women and children taken at an Indian War Dance before the show at Polack Bros. Circus…

  • Box 1, item 026
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Henry Kyes in band uniform with a lady and gentleman,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 027
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Henry Kyes playing trumpet with bass drummer,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 028
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Henry Kyes with Polack Bros. Circus Band,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 029
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Henry Kyes and his band in circus tent,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 030
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The Hanneford family outside trailer [circus performers],, 1956

  • Box 1, item 031
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91-year-old clown Al Ackerman from Polack Circus taken at Camp Pendleton, California,, 1967

  • Box 1, item 032
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Henry Kyes with two other men and a chimp,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 033
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Al Ackerman and drummer Richard Evangelista at Camp Pendleton, California,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 034
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Win Danielson, organist of Ringling Bros. Circus,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 035
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Denver Band with Henry Kyes at Polack Circus ,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 036
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Clown in cowboy costume,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 037
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Henry Kyes in Springfield, Illinois,, 1970

  • Box 1, item 038
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Henry Kyes with "Soldier," boss of props and mailman,, 1970

  • Box 1, item 039
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Henry Kyes with pipe,, 1971

  • Box 1, item 040
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Henry Kyes onstage with circus act at Ford Bowl in San Diego, California,, 1958

  • Box 1, item 041
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Big top at Aspen Music Festival; Minneapolis Symphony with Metropolous, conductor, and Dorothy…

  • Box 1, item 042
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Henry Kyes in band uniform,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 043
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Circus clown, autographed "to Henry Kyes, Pete Mardo, Tent #34, Akron, Ohio",, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 044
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Man made up as a woman, autographed to Henry Kyes: "Karl A. Denton",, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 045
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Montage featuring Joe Basile, titled "Five by Five - Mr. Basile, if you will",, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 046
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Joe Basile with baton, autographed: "Best wishes to Henry Kyes from Joe Basile, 1953",, 1953

  • Box 1, item 047
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Circus ringmaster, autographed: "Best wishes . . . to the Paul Whiteman of the Big Top from... Al…

  • Box 1, item 048
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Jackson Kyes, nephew of Henry Kyes,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 049
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Henry Kyes,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 050
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Clown, autographed: "To my dear friend, Dave Murphy... Rube Simonds",, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 051
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Clown with mirror, autographed: " To Wallace... Sincerely, Lawrence Cross",, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 052
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Clown with book,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 053
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Two clowns,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 054
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Armand Guerra with seals, Jacksonville Beach, Florida,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 055
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The Yelton Twins with accordions ,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 056
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Clown Harold Conn,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 057
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"Tajana, Indian Goddess of Flight",, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 058
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Jeanne Sleeter in leotard,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 059
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Sparks Circus Big Show Band with Henry Kyes, leader; roster on back,, 1947

  • Box 1, item 060
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Alfredo Landon and his Midgets,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 061
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Eddie Kuhn and wife,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 062
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Joannides Troupe circus performers,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 063
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The Great Barton circus act ,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 064
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Henry Kyes and Boy Scout with trumpets at Harold Bros. Circus; note on back lists the circuses Kyes…

  • Box 1, item 065
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Circus balancing act with band on balcony ,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 066
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Circus balancing act,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 067
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Circus performer in a balancing act,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 068
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Lady on a circus trapeze,, 1949

  • Box 1, item 069
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Man on a circus trapeze above audience,, 1949

  • Box 1, item 070
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Man and woman performing a circus act,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 071
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Man and woman on a pedestal for a circus act,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 072
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Circus balancing act; "Galasso" ,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 073
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Henry Kyes with trumpet, a piano player, and a drummer,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 074
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Henry Kyes in uniform directing a band,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 075
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Barker in front of a crowd at a circus sideshow,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 076
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Henry Kyes playing trumpet for a young girl and man ,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 077
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Balancing act in a circus ring in Detroit, Michigan; autographed on back,, 1948

  • Box 1, item 078
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Henry Kyes in a tuxedo leading a circus band,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 079
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Henry Kyes in a tuxedo leading Polack Circus Band ,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 080
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Jo and Slivers Madison in front of three elephants; autographed on front,, 1952

  • Box 1, item 081
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Henry Kyes with twenty-piece band; written on back: "Please return to Robbins Bros. Circus…

  • Box 1, item 082
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Henry Kyes in tuxedo with eleven-piece circus band in uniform,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 083
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Seven-piece band with Charles Cuthbert, leader; band members names appear on back,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 084
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Group of men at a restaurant table for a union officials banquet in Havana, Cuba, with the caption…

  • Box 1, item 085
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Henry Kyes and circus performers in front of elephants in Norfolk, Virginia,, 1952

  • Box 1, item 086
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Henry Kyes with circus advertisements,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 087
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Fred Mullen in band uniform playing a calliope,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 088
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Two circus clowns ,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 089
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Captain Eddy Kuhn with lions,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 090
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Circus advertisements,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 091
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Large group of performers in circus ring,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 092
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Circus trapeze act in front of audience,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 093
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Band in a circus wagon; stamped on back: "distributed to members of the Circus Historical Society…

  • Box 1, item 094
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Circus trailer being unloaded from railroad flatcar,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 095
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Horses pulling circus wagon in street,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 096
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Line of railway cars; on back: "Kit Carson Show",, 1913 - 1914

  • Box 1, item 097
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Group of people in front of circus tent in New Haven, Connecticut,, 1934

  • Box 1, item 098
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Group of girls in front of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey trailer,, 1935

  • Box 1, item 100
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Collage of 300 circus performers,, [undated]

  • Box 1, item 101
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Three ring circus,, 1929

  • Box 1, item 102
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Parade of horses at a three ring circus,, 1926

  • Box 1, item 103
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Researchers are encouraged to request collections at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Questions? Contact us at https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.