They are half horse and donkey, United States president, George Washington promoted this. Mules have been an important part of history. From mining, prospecting and transportation. Imagine the heat, drought, cold, snow, rain, mud, sand storms of the desert winds the animals had been through - just to help man. Here are a few promotions for the mules. They have been in the movies, amusement parks, parades, celebrations, traveling shows, coal - gold mines, and plowed the farms, only to be nameless? They are smart, have a good disposition and very hard workers.
Gus in football jersey
|The Disney movie call Gus is about a mule named "Gus" who was the teams football place kicker star. Bobby Davenport was the animal trainer. Gus did all kinds of stunts in this comedy.||
Tom Bosley and Gus the mule
"GUS" from the Walt Disney Movie was the Grand Marshall of the 1976 Bishop California Mule Days Parade !
|Mules were in the silent movies and comedies of the
Marx Brothers, the 3 Stooges and Laural & Hardy before "Francis,
the talking mule" .
"Ruth" was the mule Festus rode on Gunsmoke and "Blue" was the white mule of The Waltons TV series. "Jeanette" was the pack mule in a John Wayne movie. All the westerns had mules and some we will never know the mules names, they are extras with no starring roles or hipe.
|Bright Angel ... Brighty
Not a mule... but a burro starred in the 1967 movie " Brighty of the Grand Canyon ". Disney has had the movie televised on the original Wonderful World of Disney then and on the satellite cable Disney Channel of this era. It is on video tape, but may be scarse to find today.
It is an award-winning novel by Marguerite Henry, then was made into the movie. The adventures of a free-spirited, shaggy little burro, named Brighty, who actually lived in the Grand Canyon for almost thirty years in the early 1900's.
The Breyer plastic molding company made a Brighty burro in the sitting position. A gift set with burro and the book was sold during early 1980's
There was a statue made of Brighty that once stood at the entrance to the Grand Canyon Park.
|A collectable of one the famous Mules was
made. It is about a foot tall plush and stuffed .
Also a replica plastic model kit with all the mules, 2 wagons & water tanker . It was offered from the borax company and the TV series.
The mules of the desert in California really were rough
and tough to with stand the heat (back and forth) of desolate Death Valley
mining the "Borax Works" mills to the shipment area. It's very
hot in the summer, but has cooler nights in the high desert region.
The mules are the icon of " 20 mule team " Borax company, the advertiser of "Death Valley Days" a western program that ran 1951 to 1969. It had a new story about the old west each week and the mules were shown at the start of the show. The former United States President, Ronald Reagan had been the host of "Death Valleys Days" Because of the popularity of the mules the Borax company have put out products besides the powder cleaner. Various collectables have been turning up through the years. The original famous team is really 18 mules and 2 horses. The mules were given the well deserved break from years of work and only appeared at special events after the railroads took over the job.
The borax wagons and mules of the past
|St. Louis World's Fair
President Woodrow Wilson's Inauguration
Featured as a sound effect in the radio program, "Death Valley Days"
San Francisco Bay Bridge Dedication
A 40-city tour to promote Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's movie,"Twenty Mule Team"
Rose Parade Pasadena California
The mule won first place in the 1917 parade
Jumping team pairs
|Kate and Maggie
Pattie and Nattie, Ralph and Gus, Clyde and Indiana, Red and Abby, Norton and Tattoo
Sid and Rick, Rooster and BJ, Bonnie and Donna
Mary and Luke
January 1, 1999 the mules have retired from appearing in Pasadena California Rose Parade but the wagons will be on permanent display at the Borax Visitor Center in Boron, California. California's largest mine. The company office is located in Santa Clarita, California.
The Mojave Desert - the 20 mule team trail
The summer temperatures are as high as 136 degrees
in the desert. The mules traveled 16 to 18 miles per day to complete 162
miles of the Death Valley trail. Furnace creek in Death Valley, to Baker,
Mojave, & Daggett, California from the old Borax mines to the nearest
railroad. The trip took about 10 days.
Eagle Borax Works started in 1876
Harmony Borax Works started in 1877
July to October work stopped due to temendous heat in the desert Early made wagons had to be redesigned being the wooden spokes of the wheels dehydrated. Wood had to be seasoned before use on the trail.
The mule skinner had to be a
veternarian - to care for the mules if they became ill,
blacksmith - to shoe the mules if need be,
carpenter - for repairs on the wagon to take on the challenge of the job.
|A 36 page booklet was published in 1955 by Harlod O. Weight, titled "Twenty Mule Team Days In Death Valley". It contains black and white pictures, and a map of the old borax trails of the Mojave desert, Old Death Valley, history of mules, mule skinners, and the mining of desert borax.|
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