Planning the Exhibits

The ABE staff devoted a substantial amount of time to planning and building apparatus for the various animal shows. Much of this work was done by Grant Evans who joined ABE in 1951.  Evans worked alongside Keller Breland, and later Bob Bailey, to design and create the apparatus for each animal show. The variety of acts offered kept the ABE staff busy training animals and building shows.

Planning Illustrations for Basketball Chicken, 1966

Animal acts proposed for the IQ Zoo were carefully planned using drawings, blueprints, and written instructions before production.

Patent Drawings, "Coin Operated Trained Animal Amusement Apparatus," 1970

Patent Drawings, Coin-Operated Trained Animal Amusement Apparatus, 1970.

This patent drawing shows the intricacies of ABE apparatuses. This particular apparatus was used in acts where animals could compete with visitors in games that required taking turns. View the entire patent description.

Plans for "Rocket to the Moon," 1965.

This drawing shows a planned but never produced animal act where a chicken would take a rocket to the moon. The chicken would exit the headquarters, enter the rocket, and press a "blast-off" button, causing rocket to begin to rise. The rocket would stop at moon level and the chicken would exit the rocket. The chicken would then return in the same manner using a "descend" button.