Circus ephemera collection

Circus ephemera collection

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Library
Creator: Unknown
Title: Circus ephemera collection
Dates: 1890-1955
Quantity: 2.3 Linear feet 2 document boxes, 1 oversized box, 3 oversized folders
Coll. Number: ms2717

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of programs, posters, photographs, clippings, and promotional items relating to various American circuses and other variety performers. Included are materials pertaining to the Barnum and Bailey Circus, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey, and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.

Index Terms

Barnum and Bailey.
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.
Circus--United States.
Programs (documents)
Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows.
Wild west shows.

General Notes

Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation note

Circus ephemera collection, ms2717, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


1. Circuses

Subseries 1A: Barnum and Bailey Circus

11Typescript ms of article on behind the scenes business at Barnum & Bailey Circus [pre-dates merger with Ringling] not signed, undated
12 large Hallmark postcards depicting a herd of giraffes and "the Ugo Ancillotti Troupe of French Bicycle Experts", undated (reproductions)
1Program, 1914 Season Providence RI; Fall River, New Bedford MA, June 11-13, 1914
1Magazine, 'The Wizard Prince of Arabia", 1914
1Magazine, "Persia: or the Pageants of the 1001 Nights", 1916
1Official route, 1916 season, June-July 1916
1Menus, 1916
28 June [dinner] Lynn MA
30 June [dinner] Waterville, ME
1 July [lunch] Bangor, ME
3 July [lunch] Lewiston, ME
3 July [ dinner] Lewiston, ME
4 July-Independence Day Banquet: Biddleford ME

Subseries 1B: Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus

includes items from various periods, along with various mergers and break-ups.
12Breakfast ticket, undated
2Sticker with Hagenbeck-Wallace logo
2Letterhead and envelope
2Program: 1918 Stage Women's War Relief Benefit, September 20-October 6, 1918
2Route cards: 22 nd-24 th week of 1926 season, [September-October 9 ] (two cards)
2Hagenbeck-Wallace-Forepaugh-Sells Bros: Magazine and Daily Review, 1935 Season, 1935
2Wallace Bros. Route Card-1941 season, April 12-26, 1941

Subseries 1C: Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Circus

Water color drawing of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey horse drawn, Steam powered calliope, ca 1917 (Amateur, on heavy cardstock circa 4 x 8)
Magazine, "The Magnificent Fairyland Spectacle: Cinderella"
includes "Libretto of the pageant; programs of the arena; magazine of marvels; guide to the menagerie"
Magazine and Daily Review, 1918, 1920, 1922, 1925
Program, new Bedford MA, 15 June
Magazine and Daily Review, Golden Jubilee Issue, 1932 1933 1934
Christmas card, signed by Frank A Cook, 1934
Magazine and Daily Review, 1935 1936
Postcards: Souvenir folder of Mr and Mrs Gargantua the Great, 1941
Magazine and Daily Review, 1941 1955
All are 'back-stage' shots of performers and support staff, etc. Some shots of Animals, mostly elephants; one of a roster
B/w ca 1920's-30's. Some identified on reverse. Many are postcard format.
Many appear to have been taken by G. A. Hough

Subseries 1D: John Robinson's Circus

16Contract synopsis for: Greenville SC, 16 September, Highpoint, NC 24 September
Contains info gathered by agent pertaining to lot locations, supply sources, etc. Per town. At bottom are printed notes of various importance to arrival, set-up. On reverse are maps of lot locations for each city.
6Route cards for weeks 21 through the end of season, [mailed to G.A. Hough, Sr.]
6Envelope with circus letterhead
6Envelope with picture of Robinson surrounded by circus acts and animals
6Small sticker with circus logo [advertisement sticker?]
6Tickets [used to compensate those who allowed ad lithographs to be posted by agents on their property]
6Tickets [for the annex, 25 cents]
6Press release for 107 th season, form letter format

Subseries 1E: Sells Bros./Sells-Floto Circus

7Two large hallmark postcards, depicting: "Roman Standing Race" and "Camel Races", nd (reproductions of circus posters)
7Magazine, 1919
mostly stories on the various animals of the show
7Official program, 1924 season
7Magazine, program of shows, 1932 (some pages missing)

Subseries 1F: Sparks Circus

most dated 1922 on original plate and are numbered and bear "sparks shows", postcard format. Two autographed, two not postcard, dated-described on back and marked for the New Bedford Sunday Standard Gravure Section. Subjects are mostly performers and acts
8Route booklet for 1923 season
Includes listings of staff by department
8Promotional booklet, undated

Subseries 1G: Miscellaneous items

Contains items pertaining to various circuses and groups
19Souvenir booklet for The Royal English Circus and German Water Carnival, undated
9Magazine: "California Frank's All-Star Wild West,", early 1900s
9"Circus Magazine, Wild West and Animal Review", 1934
Includes articles, mostly promotionals, and information for the following:
Seils Sterling Circus
Barnett Bros.
Dodson's Shows
Lewis Bros
Golden Rule Shows
Rice Bros. Circus
Vanderburg Bros. Shows
Fisher Bros. Show
Barker Shows
Miller Bros Expo and Wild West
Engford Family Show
Conroy Bros Show
Fowler Bros Circus
F H Bee Shows
World Bros
Almond & Conley Circus
Isler Greater Shows
Sea Bros. Circus
Kaus United Shows
Olinger Bros Circus
Gibson's Blue Ribbon Shows
Kay Bros Circus
9Promotional booklet, Gentry Bros Circus, nd
9Chevrolet Dealer promotional flyer-on Downie Bros Circus Motorization using Chevrolet trucks, ca 1935
9Publicity handbill: Will Rogers, signed on original plate, advertisements for Atlanta, GA businesses on back, undated
10Cash envelopes [no circus identified], nd
10Christmas Greeting card, signed by Harry Bert
10Pay order made out by treasurer of Alleghanians Vocalist and Swiss Bell Ringers, 24 January 1872
For room rent.
10Postcard: exterior of Ripley's "Believe it or Not Odditorium," New York, NY Postmarked, 1939
10Postcard: "Murphy's Carousa[l], Savin Rock, Connecticut, ca 1910
10Courier lithograph: portrait of Fanny Davenport. [cover of sourvenir booklet?]
11Small handbill-The Harris Road Show
11Personal invitation for a Jenny Lind concert
11Autograph, C. Carr [?], circa 1846?
11Autograph, Dan Rice [2], undated
11Autograph, Effa Majette
11"Descriptive List of Bernard's Circus Specialties": Chas. Bernard, Riverside, Savannah, Ga., 1937
11UPI wire dated June 11 [ny]-11 year old bit by baboon at Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros Circus
11Written matter-quotes from individuals, No ascertainable connection to writer, Quotee, subject
11Handbill-Sims Greater Shows, Prescott Ontario, August 5, 1933
11Handbill-C.F. Zeiger United Shows, Corpus Christi TX, 2 November 1931
11Handbill-Van Ault's Arcade [Cetlin and Wilson Shows], Winter Quarters, 13 December 1939
11Handbill-Doc El Vino Family Wonder Show, nd
11Letterhead-Lee Bros. Show
11Letterhead-Billy Fee Wild Animal Shows
11Letterhead-A.G. Barnes Circus
11Booklet: "The Elephant's Love or Zenobia's Infidelity; presented with the Compliments of C. I. Hood & Co., proprietors of Hoods Sarsaparilla, Lowell, Mass.", Ca late 19th century ?
11Story with ads and promotional testimonies for the product-no place
11Booklet: "Thrilling Stories about Snakes and Snake Charmers: Illustrated, no Date nor place
11Stocklist-U. S. Tent and Awning Co., 1920 season. "New and Second Hand Tents and Paraphenalia"

2. Performers

21Buffalo Bill - Greeting card from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (Full color on Cardstock, 8 x 12)
1Buffalo Bill - newspaper clippings (photocopies from originals)
Covers period from late 1890's to his death In 1917 & includes AP release, dated 14 September 1914, to be released in the Event of his death
2Mr and Mrs. Tom Thumb [Mr. And Mrs. Charles Stratton] - carte de visite photographs (The Thumbs and Their Child; Mrs. Thumb)
2Mr and Mrs. Tom Thumb [Mr. And Mrs. Charles Stratton] - Currier and Ives lithograph depicting the Thumbs marriage, 1863 February 10 (color, 7 x 9 original)
2Mr and Mrs. Tom Thumb [Mr. And Mrs. Charles Stratton] - Matted photograph
3Minnie Larned – Cabinet photograph - Wheaton, IL
3Minnie Larned – Letters, 1881-1893
Most are related to early life and provide no information on career in the circus.
5"Prince Mungo" (2 in costume, one out)
5Carte de visite: "Commodore Nutt & Miss Minnie Warren", ca 1868
5Carte de visite: " Leopold Kahn "Admiral Dot" (identified on reverse)
5Cabinet photo : Modjeska, ca 1889
5Florence Harris Mardo, equestrienne. Autographed to Max Haugh
5Kukla Fran and Ollie Burr. Autographed to Mischa de la Motte
5Fran Burr & ?. autographed to Larry
5Violet & Daisy Hilton, signed on original plate
5Scene shot from a production of "Annie Get Your Gun"
5Scene shot from a production of "Fixer Dugan", RKO 1939, press release
5Bob Baker's Marionettes, dated on obverse, press release?, 16 June 1952
A collection of unidentified pictures. Subjects include performances, Performers, animals, trainers, parades etc.

3. Printed Material

A collection of heavy cardboard matrices, used to produce images in Printing. Collection includes images of animals in performance, clowns and other performers. Several ad formats, including ads for Sells-Floto, Downie Bros., World Bros. Some identified and/or dated, most ca 1930s
8Sheet Music: "Herr Cline's Dance"
A piece entitled "Herr Cline's Dance: with Variations for the Piano forte". Philadelphia: Printed for R. H. Hobson, 1828? Six pp; picture of Rope Walker On title page
9Sheet Music: Musical: "Rings in the Dust"
A two act operetta. Vocal Score and Libretto. Estelle Merryman Clark-Libretto. Palmer John Clark-music. Chicago: Gamble Hinged Music Co., Nd Eight characters: Three Choruses. A Circus owner fights the foreclosure Of his circus, 112 pp
10-11Newspaper Clippings, 1928-1963

4. Oversized items

31Pine Ridge News
1"Chatter from around the Whitetops". Two issues, v. 1 # 7-8, 1927 November-December
Published by the circus Fans Association.
1Large format articles on "The Great Wallendas" tragedy, Life ?, nd, 1963
2"The Merry Go Round Rag". Ralph Larsh. Chicago: Ralph Larsh, 1918 (Sketch of merry go round on cover., 6 pp)
2"Oh! You Circus Day." Edith Maida Lessing and Jimmie V. Monaco. Chicago: Will Rossiter, 1912 (On cover-portrait of Maud Lambert)
2"Circus Galop." Wm Groscurth. Boston: Oliver Ditsen Co., 1888 (On cover-equestrienne act.)
3Barnum & Bailey - (2) large promotional newspapers. Both for performances in New Bedford, MA (One damaged by rodents.)
3Barnum & Bailey - Official route, 1916 (large tri-fold format)
Barnum & Bailey - Daily Journal - Madison Square Garden advertisement, 1882
4Cole Bros.-Clyde Beatty - Three page advertisement from the "Circuses" section of The Billboard, 1935 May 4
Promotional newspaper for 7 June 1904 performance in New Bedford, MA
6Ringling Bros. - Promotional newspaper for New Bedford MA show
Main subj is "Joan of Arc, New Spectacle". Also includes interesting Disclaimer on last page refuting charges of being a trust
6Ringling Bros. - Red Wagon Annual, "A Circus Yearbook", 1899
Includes history of the Show, managers and staff for the year. Various articles on animals, many Photographs and drawings. Also includes a city by city diary of notable Events while en route.
7John Robinson's Circus
A collection of daily report sheets for cars 2 and 3. Covers various months Within the season-no year noted, however. Forms indicate various Expenditures and accounts of lithograph postings for each stop en route, etc.
OS Folder
2BBarnum & Bailey, New Bedford MA, 1894 June 9
Flagg's New England Carnival Co [promotional: Haverhill MA]
Howe's Circus [promotional; Falmouth MA]
John Robinson's Circus [promotional]
Downie Bros. Big 3 Ring Circus [promotional; Falmouth MA]
OS Folder
3BPill's Manikins-announcing afternoon performances
Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey-announcing Clyde Beatty's Trained wild animal sensation
Ringling Bros & Barnum and Bailey-general poster, depicts Equestrienne act
Walter L. Main Shows, depicts bust of a clown, with inset photo of Main
OS Folder
1CKarosu Circus and Review, Japanese. Depicts various acts and performers, 1930
The Combination of the Barnum & Van Amburge Museum & Menagerie Co., & Dan Castello's Great Show
illustrated with Lots of promotions, including Md'le Pauline & the child wonder, Little Minnie; Mr Charles Fish, the Great American Equestrian etc. Atlanta, GA., November 1 st and 2d, nd.