Passepartout is all about documentaries and visual stuff I find worth seeing.

SPOTLIGHT: Tuffi the Elephant and Her 1950 Train Jump

Hey you all, Passepartout is back. I said it would be June, I kind of meant the beginning of it, but the 26th is still in June so no one can deny that I am true to my word.

Now…have you ever seen this photo?

Well, here’s the story: the Wuppertal Suspension Railway is the oldest electric elevated railway with hanging cars in the world (no worries if you have no idea where Wuppertal is, it’s in Germany, right here). Let’s make it clear that I don’t know this because of a secret passion for Wuppertal or elevated railways, but because I recently met someone who did have an interest in both.

And so I found that in 1950, some people thought that making Tuffi the 4 year old circus elephant take this suspended monorail would be a great marketing gag. Tuffi didn’t think the same and she didn’t particularly enjoy the ride so she broke through the door and jumped into the river, makingĀ  headlines and securing a fine for all the humans involved in this ‘marketing arrangement’.


Most importantly, Tuffi survived, and lived a long life until 1989 when she died like many legends did, in Paris. Because she did become a local legend, with souvenirs of her being available in Wuppertal up to this day.

This postcard-photo survived as well over the years. Is it a true photo? Surely not.

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