Author: Stan Ogozalek The tippler is a breed of domestic pigeon bred to participate in endurance competitions. Flying results of upto 22 hours (non-stop) have been reported which makes it the most outstanding endurance-flying breed in recorded existence.
Date Written / Published: 2005 TipplerTalk
All races of breeds of domestic pigeon have been evolved from rock pigeon (columba livia) that cohabits with man everywhere in the world. The domestic pigeon breeds are believed to have been developed in the East. The flying tippler sport of seeing which bird could fly the longest originated from England in 1840. It appears to have been a favorite of miners.
There was a tippler fancier that lived in the Portland, Oregon area by the name of Jack Ehli who also had Lovatt tipplers. His advert is in the September 1971 issue ( the 1st Flying Tippler Special ) of the defunct American Pigeon Journal. It reads " Flying Tipplers Record Flying Flying Strains Imported English 18 and 20 hour, World's record Strain. Birds flown into the teens of hours, this loft......'Rip City Lofts' . Now, from what I recall, he may have imported the Lovatts into the States but when it was done I cannot say. There were two fanciers from South Jersey that had and flew them. The birds were somewhat larger than the 'Hagan' Lovatts and were dark in color.
Perc Hagan sold many tipplers and the fanciers that bought them did very well with their offspring. Many of the 'old' American Tippler Union members had and flew them in the 1970's and 1980's ( I call that time period....the Golden Age of the ATU ) they were the birds to have back then. The late Bob Kennedy held the ATU old bird record with them, it was 15.04. You see, back then, that was a damn good flying time! Guys like Bob Kennedy and Don Zink ( both good buddies ) and the Randall brothers, Jim Lombardo, Bob Lewin, Mickey Conticchio, Bob Ratel, Howard and his son Ed Carlson, Bill Conboy ( reds and yellows were his favorites), Bob Lukas and a few others whose names escape me at the moment all had and flew the Lovatts. We're talking 30 years ago and the price back then was $50 per pair, with inflation what would that be now???
Colors.......the colors that I remember seeing in Bob Kennnedy's loft were 'Velvets' (as he called them), blues, dun checkers, silver duns, reds, yellows. Don Zink and the other guys had much the same colors in their lofts. However, my late good friend and timer, Bob Lewin decided to send for some of the Hagan Lovatts and he received somewhat different colors and that started a controversy in the club. Bob received a few different colors such as a grizzle and a bronze type and a mottle, he flew them well from that hotel rooftop in Manhattan on 26th and Lex'.
During that time, I had and flew the Harry Hunt (Toronto) tipplers.
I hope that I haven't 'rambled on' too much!
All the best,
Back in that time period, 70'-80's, there were about 30 members in the American Tippler Union. We had about 10 or more members that were very active in the competitions and the others were more or less 'social members'. But then, those 'social members' acted as timers/referees for the other flying members. And we were also members of the FTA then, the FTS was yet to come..........
Nothing ever remains the same and so it is with the ATU, it has gone in the opposite direction. There are but a few what you would call 'flying members' in that club now. The best flyer in that club now is Bob Adams, no need to list his accomplishments here......too many to mention! Then there is Eddie Buraczewski and Joe Russo and Nick Romano ( who has since given up on tipplers due to hawk problems,etc.). To the best of my knowledge, the other members are for the most part, pleasure flyers and showmen.
Bob flies the Lovatts ' with a touch of Sheffield ' in them and has since acquired some of Oskar Zovics birds. I know that OMB will correct and/or add to this. Some of his birds were recently posted on this forum. Eddie Buraczewski has the Gordon Hughes and the Sheffield flying tipplers, he's had them for years, they being handed down to him by his late father, Walter Buraczewski. Joe Russo had and flew the Seabridge Lovatts while Nick Romano had and flew Bob's tipplers with success. As for the other non-flying members, I cannot say as to what strains they have, etc.
There was another ATU member that had and flew Reds and Yellows, they were not of the Lovatt strain but were his own. Tony Schepige, formerly of Bloomfield,NJ, was known as 'Yellow Tony' because of his tipplers, he flew them for his own pleasure and did manage to enter a few contests with them each year.
Talk about very good tipplers going by the wayside...........they were the tipplers of the late and long time secretary of the ATU, Louis Wolfe of Merrick, Long Island,NY. He had corresponded with the late Sam Billingham of Sheffield,UK just after WW2. Sam had sent some of his tipplers to Lou, they were mainly blacks and blues with some reds. There is only one member that I knew back then that was able to talk Lou out of some of those 'Billinghams' and that was the late Ed Borchers. Ed could talk almost anyone out of anything, he was a traveling salesman, etc. Ed had also acted as my referee for a few years until he took ill, etc. Well, there is only one person that I know of that may or may not know if anyone else was able to get some of the 'Billinghams' and he is the long time ATU secretary, Clarence Williams. It's my belief that they are long gone.
As for other strains in the 'old ATU', the late Victor Jendzo of Long Island was the 1st to import the Gordon Hughes tipplers into the states. What was supposed to be 2 pairs turned out to be 3 cocks and 1 hen! I'm not certain if old Vic used hens from another strain to make up 3 pairs, possibly Eddie Buraczewski might know as his father and Vic were good friends,etc. The Hughes tipplers didn't catch on with the fanciers as did the Lovatts, the Hughes were blues and blues and blues again....maybe that was it...the single color.
A teenage fancier, back then, was able to get some of the Frank Cochrane tipplers from Toronto and flew them very well. Of course, the Cochrane tipplers came in different colors...prints, grizzles, mottles, bronzes and the occasional blue if I'm not mistaken. If Oskar reads this e-mail he could add his knowledge of these tipplers to the readers. A young Mike Seiler of Bloomfield,NJ was quite successful with these 'Cochranes' and posted some good times with them. He later went into the Short Face Tumbler fancy and has done well in that aspect also.
'Nuff said for now....
Cheerios or is it Cheers?
When I was in Toronto and while visiting with Oskar, I asked him about the importation of tipplers into Canada as he knew it. Well, he only gave me brief notes and here they are. Maybe you could add to this list a few names??? Ok, here goes....
1903 and 1908......A Mr. McAllister of Long Branch, Toronto made the first importations, strains unknown, etc.
1917.....Brooks and Simpson imported the Pee Wee, Pass and Waterfall strains.
1919 .... Sam Lauria, Alf Pollard either brought in more of the Pee Wee, Pass and Waterfall strains or bought out those birds from Brooks and Simpson.
1927.... A Reverend Graham imported the 'Rennison' strain into Canada and later moved south to North Carolina.
1933-34..... Doug Prud'Homme, Nelson Balmer, Jack English brought more of the Hall and Pass strains.
1956....Scotty Thomas brought in the 'Lincoln Blues' to Canada.
1957....E.R. Ball bought the winning kit from Jack Heaton of Sheffield. It might have been his winning young bird record kit. A few hens were also added to the group that were imported.
1972....E.R. Ball again imported more tipplers, this time from Jos. Davies and John Cullen of Bristol,UK.
1974....E.R. Ball again imported more tipplers from Jos. Davies and John Cullen.
1995....The Shannon type tipplers were imported into Canada.
If you can add to this list or correct it if need be, then please do so.
As for the early importations of tipplers into the USA, I know of a few.
In the early or mid 1960's.....Ted Pierog of Cleveland, Ohio imported the Jack Boden tipplers. Amongst those that he imported was a winning 19 hour kit, one of which was a dun print cock.
At about the same time, Perc Hagan of Travelers Rest, South Carolina imported the Lovatts. Jack Ehli, of Portland, Oregon, also imported the Lovatts.
In the early 1970's, a fancier from Connecticut by the name of Anthony Bernat, imported the Macclesfield tipplers (10 pairs) into the USA from the loft of Tom Beechiner of the UK.
Then in 1974-75, Bobby Prisco of New Jersey imported 5 pairs of tipplers from Swansea, Wales. The tipplers were from the lofts of Syd Passmore, Jon Lewis and Tom Sheppard. Bobby also imported some of the offspring from E.R. Ball, the tipplers from the lofts of Jos Davies and John Cullen.
Perc Hagan made another importation, this time it was two pairs of the Bartholomew type tipplers, a pair of reds and a pair of blacks.
At or about 1980, Joe Closson of New Jersey imported 5 pairs of the Boden type tipplers from the loft of Mick Murphy of Bristol/UK. Sometime after that, Dick Seabridge, a good friend of Joe Closson, imported some of the Paul Green 'Lovatts'.
In the early 80's, a few pairs of the Fred Carnew (Bristol,UK) tipplers were brought in by a fancier from Minnesota.
In the late 90's, 4 pairs of the Boden tipplers and 2 pairs of the Hughes tipplers were imported by Rex Leon of California.
Danny, I think that about does it? What do you say??? Maybe Dave Fuller can add to this list.........
All the best,