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Brick, Hans, 1889 - 1972



  • Existence: 4 November 1889 - 22 August 1972


Hans Brick was a circus animal trainer, born in Nuremberg, Germany on 4 November 1889. Hans came from a family of wild animal trainers. His father was killed by a tiger and his mother died at childbirth, thus Hans was born an orphan and was brought up in the circus by a guardian. He started travelling with the circus aged five and grew up travelling around Europe. Hans trained in clowning, trapeze, high school riding and wire walking and for a while he had an act with clown Grock called Brick and Brock, however his passion was always wild animals.

Hans started working in England and Ireland from 1932. In 1939, upon the beginning of the Second World War, he was interned in a prisoner of war camp on the Isle of Man due to his German nationality. After the war Hans was released and he continued travelling around the UK with several circuses including Rosaires, Pinders, Chipperfields and Robert Brothers. He also trained animals for the film industry including Tarzan films and The Dark Tower.

During his life as an animal trainer Hans travelled to Africa, India and North America in search for wild animals.

Hans retired in 1956 after sixty seven years working the circus. In 1960, he wrote a book compiling everything he knew about animal training entitled Jungle be Gentle.

Hans died on 22 August 1972 in Middlesex, England aged 83.

Found in 10 Collections and/or Records:

Business Records, c1900 - 1999

Reference code: 178H24
Scope and Contents

Business records comprissing minutes of meetings, books of accounts, receipts, annual statements and other documents related to the Circus Friends Association of Great Britain, Bertram Mills Circus, Hans Brick and Bostock and Wombwell.

Dates: c1900 - 1999

Circus Friends Association Collection

Reference code: NFA0122
Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a large library of books and journals, as well as archival material including posters, programmes, photographs, films, handbills, research material, scrapbooks, original artwork and many other items of ephemera relating to British, Irish and European circuses

Dates: 1795 - 2020

Correspondence, c1900 - 1999

Reference code: 178F31
Scope and Contents

Items of correspondence including personal and business letters and Christmas greetings.

Dates: c1900 - 1999

Hans Brick Animal Trainer and Circus Performers Correspondence, 1931 - 1958

Reference code: 178F31.4
Scope and Contents

Letters and envelopes addressed to Hans Brick relating to his professional career as an animal trainer and as an author, some in letter headed paper in English, French and German, including correspondence with British Lion Film Corporation, the Circus Friends Association, London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company, R. W. Thompson Author and Journalist, John Duffy and Sons' Circus and the Birtish Museum amongst others. Typescript and manuscript.

Dates: 1931 - 1958

Newspaper Cutting Part of Hans Brick Animal Trainer and Circus Performer's Material, 1933 - 1951

Reference code: 178G21.82
Scope and Contents

Newspaper and magazine articles about Hans Brick and circus topics, mainly on British newspapers including, The Daily Mirror, The Evening News but also German and French.

Dates: 1933 - 1951

Newspaper Cuttings and Scapbooks, 1838 - 2007

Reference code: 178G21
Scope and Contents

A collection of newspaper cuttings on circus, circus proprietors and performers and scrapbooks containing newspaper cuttings, posters, programmes and other items of ephemera, covering mainly British circuses and venues such as Belle Vue and also some international circuses.

Dates: 1838 - 2007

Photographs and Postcards, c1800 - 1999

Reference code: 178C108
Scope and Contents

Black and white and colour photographs, negatives and photographic albums mainly containing images of British circus, circus performers, animals and circus personalities but also some menageries such as Bostock and Wombwell and other associated entertainments and non-British circuses taken by David Jamieson, Lindsay Temple, Den Curtis, Capt. Middleton, Jack Niblett and other photographers.

Dates: c1800 - 1999

Photographs of Hans Brick Animal Trainer and Circus Performers, c1900 - 1999

Reference code: 178C108.333-354
Scope and Contents

Black and white photographs and postcards of people, animals and performers, including a portrait photograph of Hans Brick and photographs of Circus Busch with text in German and English and a small negative.

Dates: c1900 - 1999

Photographs of Hans Brick Animal Trainer and Circus Performers, c1900 - 1999

Reference code: 178C108.355
Scope and Contents

Black and white photographs of journey's around different parts of the world, caged animals, people and circus performers, approximately 42p.p.

Dates: c1900 - 1999

Receipt, 1942

Reference code: 178H24.3
Scope and Contents

Receipt from Francis Edwards Ltd., for 'Thirteen Year with the Wild Beast of India' Hans Brick's material.

Dates: 1942

Additional filters:

Archival Object 9
Collection 1
Acrobats 1
Aerialists 2
Animal trainers 8
Animals 9
Art 2