Harry Alton Atwell (b. 08 Oct 1879, d. 05 Nov 1957)
Harry Alton Atwell (b. 1879) in 1947
Harry Alton Atwell (son of Marshall Burton Atwell and Julia Estella Hoye) was born 08 Oct 1879 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois51, and died 05 Nov 1957 in Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida52.He married Matilda Smith on 1907 in ?. Notes for Harry Alton Atwell: According to John William Atwell, Harry & Tillie had no children.Harry worked for Barnum & Bailey Circus as an official photographer.His photographs are displayed in the Circus museum in Chicago. The Clown and the Showgirl #716 (Price $5.95) is available at the Ringling Brother's Website, http://www.ringling.org/museum_store_books_videos.asp. This Eakins Press Foundation pocket book celebrates the photography of Harry A. Atwell with an essay written by Rodney Huey, former public relations executive for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.Photographs by Harry A. Atwell, essay by Rodney Huey. 16 page fold out. ISBN 0-87130-061-3, 2004 “Harry Atwell clearly understood the world of the circus, both inside the rings and behind the Big Top tent. The innocent attraction he projected through his photographs of the showgirl and the clown is reminiscent of the fabled “beauty and the beast” myth. Nowhere is this more evident than in the opposing headshots of the clown and the showgirl on the back cover of this publication. But with the circus, the clown will forever remain the alienated Other, never reverting back into a worldly prince, and always destined to watch the showgirl ride off into the sunset with a handsome suitor.Perhaps this is why the clown, with its innocent affectations and a simpleton’s heart, captures our fascination and sparks our imagination like no other circus artist. In this sense, the lowly clown becomes the true “lord of the rings.” –Rodney Huey The following entry was taken from The Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI). Each entry in the BGMI lists the biographical works which mention the individual in question. Researchers may obtain additional information by consulting these refrence works (from which the BGMI index was created). Consult your local academic or research library for more information. Name: Atwell, Harry Alton Birth - Death: 1879?-1957 Accession Number: 156653 Source Citation: Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines. Volume 4: September, 1955 - August, 1958. New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1960. (BioIn 4) From "Bandwagon" (publication), Vol. 3, March Issue, 1953. [in an article about Bill Antes]: Bill Antes never lost contact with the little folk in this world. Affection and artificiality never characterized him. He was genuinely delighted to meet a friend of Evansville days as he was to be greeted by one from Hollywood, Radio City, or Sarasota. He accepted invitations to join many organizations, among them the Pacific Coast Showmen's League, the Elks Club, the Variety Clubs International, and the Harry Atwell Luncheon Club of Chicago and was always happy when he could attend their functions, and none was given a heartier welcome. From "Bandwagon" (publication), Vol. 4, April-May Issue, 1954. Circus Chronology, 1953 Reprinted from the Billboard, January 9, 1954. Compiled by Tom Parkinson. Bandwagon, Vol. 4, April-May, 1954, p. 11. HARRY ATWELL, circus photog, moved his operation to Sarasota, Fla [in 1953]. From "Bandwagon", Vol. 7, No. 1 (Jan-Feb), 1963, p. 14. Under the Marquee, by Tom Parkinson. Rudie Niemeyer, long-time assistant to the late Harry Atwell, famed show photgrapher, is retired in Sarasota . . . Bandwagon, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Mar-Apr), 1964, pp. 26-27. Readers Comments Hagenbeck-Wallace 1933, (Nov.-Dec., 1963, Bandwagon) Gordon Potter calls attention to an error, readily admitted by the author, in which it was stated that Hagenbeck-Wallace was increased from 30 cars to 35 cars for the 1931 season. Such was not the case. The increase to 35 cars did not come until the 1932 season. Potter says his count for 1931 gave the show 8 stock cars, 14 flats, 7 coaches, and 1 advance, for a total of 30. Show had 20 elephants and 16 cages that year. For 1932 Potter says he counted 9 stock cars, 17 flats, 8 coaches, and 1 advance, for a total of 35, and that year the show carried 20 elephants and 20 cages. Potter also made the following interesting observation: "The article about menageries by Chang Reynolds in the Nov.-Dec., 1963, Bandwagon was very good. The use of the 50 elephant picture taken on RBBB in 1933 by the late Harry Atwell made me think of something. I was never able to figure out how they got that picture as there were never that many bulls with the show in those days. I knew Harry Atwell real well and used to go up to his studio on Randolph Street every time I got to Chicago. So I asked him about the picture but he couldn't shed any light on it as he just thought there were 50 elephants with the show that season and that all of them came out of the menagerie top. "I asked Atwell if either the Hagenbeck-Wallace or Al G. Barnes show was playing nearby and if they sent a car of bulls over for the picture, possibly on a Sunday, but he didn't know anything about that. I looked up the routes the other day and the Barnes show was mostly in Missouri during the time RBBB was in Chicago in 1933 and Hagenbeck-Wallace was mostly in Virginia but did get to Pittsburgh the last day RBBB was in Chicago. But that was too far away for both shows. I doubt if there were 10 bulls at Peru that could have been sent up to Chicago for the photo, but maybe there were. Is it possible that a car of 10 were sent to the show in Chicago in 1933 from Peru and finished the season on RBBB? I rather doubt this, but just can't figure out how they got the picture. "Here is my own elephant count for Ringling-Barnum for a few years: 1925 - 34 elephants; 1926 - 35 elephants; 1927 - 37 elephants including Pawah and his companion; 1928 - 34 elephants (was sick and didn't see the show in 1929 and 1930); 1931 - 34 elephants; 1932 - 41 elephants; 1933 - 40 elephants; 1934 - 35 elephants; 1935 - 34 elephants, and 1936 - 35 elephants. I don't seem to have the count for 1937." The News-Sentinel (Fulton County, Indiana), Monday, March 30, 1936. BEATTY'S WIFE PUTS CATS THROUGH PACES FOR NEWS-REEL CAMERAS Newsreel men, representing the major American movie companies found a new thriller for cinema patrons when they invaded local circus quarters on Saturday afternoon. That thriller was Mrs. Clyde Beatty. For the past several months news has been filtering through that Harriet Beatty had gone "animal trainer" with serious mein, but wary editors looked upon the report as being a bit circusy. "If the pretty little blonde wife of [famous lion tamer] Clyde Beatty had really consented to enter the arena with her illustrious husband, and to put the big cats through their paces," said they, "it amounted to virtually a feeble attempt to break into the publicity limelight."But they might well perish the thought, if her performance before the movie cameras on Saturday afternoon can be taken as a criterion. She not only went into the arena, she actually and faithfully took over the Beatty position of big cage maestro, to get the beasts through their paces with the ease and precision of a veteran.And that proved to be the sauce for which the cameramen were seeking. They asked her again and again to repeat the sequences - many of them entirely new and almost increditable - and she consented, giving them shot after shot which in a few days will be seen in practically every movie theater in America.The four largest newsreel feature services were represented. They brought sound recording equipment to register the animal belligerence to the Beatty commands. Those in evidence included: Universal, Hearst-Metrotone, Fox-Movietone and Paramount. Pathe men are expected here on April 6, when the Beattys will give a special performance for newspaper men from over Indiana, as well as the large Chicago papers. A note of comedy was injected into the scene on Saturday afternoon when Harry Atwell, special circus photographer of Chicago, entered the ring to shoot several close-ups of Beatty and his new lion, Bruno, which sits up on a pedestal.All went well until Bruno cast his Ocher-colored eye upon Mr. Atwell, and pounced down from the stool, thereby causing the photographer to beat a hasty retreat in the direction of the cage door. More About Harry Alton Atwell and Matilda Smith: Marriage: 1907, ?.