Cole Bros Circus #7

Posted By on August 23, 2012

Cole Bros steam calliope. I understand from the information that I have the name of this calliope is “The Two Jesters”. This photo was shot on the show lot in 1936. I do not want to disclaim the information that I have, but I don’t see two jesters on the wagon. The custom caved art work is usually what the tableaus and wagons are named after because of there individual appearance.

Stephen Flints comment has the information I was looking for on this calliope………Thanks.

Harry Kingston as well has made a comment.

Share

Cole Bros Circus #8

Posted By on August 23, 2012

Mack truck pulling two pole wagons to the show lot 1936.

Share

Cole Bros Circus #9

Posted By on August 23, 2012

Eight horse hitches pulling a cargo wagon to the show lot. These wagons were most likely loaded with canvas.

Share

Cole Bros Circus #10

Posted By on August 23, 2012

Cole Bros air calliope 1937. The opposite side of this wagon was open to show the calliope.

Good comment Steve.

Share

Cole Bros Circus #11

Posted By on August 23, 2012

The use of  tractors and Mack trucks was quite common on the circuses. This usually occured when there was a step hill or down grade. The tractor seems to be headed for a down grade. I notice a man on top of the wagon holding the  brake wheel. Most all circus wagons had a mechanical brake that was used for slowing the wagon on a down grade, also they would set brakes on when parked. This is not to say it could not be done with horses, but it would take one more man on the wagon, teamster and a brakemen. Two men on a wagon, unless it was a parade was very rare.

Share

Stephen T. Flint

Posted By on August 17, 2012

Dear Ivan-

Let me start off by saying how much I enjoy your blog. You certainly have some interesting photo’s to share. Thank you.
As for the Cole Bros. #88 canvas wagon you showed the other day I’ve included a couple of photo’s of when it was on the 1937 and 1938 seasons of the Al G. Barnes/Sells-Floto show. There were 2 almost identical wagons built for that show to haul the big top canvas. They were steel framed (3″ channel iron uprights), 4″ angle iron front corners, 6″ channel iron frame turned inward and sided with 3″ tongue & groove wood. In other words they were of typical Red Forbes construction. Originally they had wood spoked wheels. Each had a pipe apparatus (jib and winch) on the side to lift the canvas bales in and out of the wagon. This was run on elephant power. The difference in the wagons was where the apparatus was mounted. One wagon had it on the driver side while the other wagon had it on the passenger side.
After the February 20, 1940 Rochester, IN winter quarters fire the Ringling show offered any needed equipment from the surplus in Peru, IN. Adkins & Terrell picked up these 2 canvas wagons along with a couple of Corporation cages and some other odds and ends. The first season to appear on Cole Bros. was 1940. The 2 previous seasons (1939-1940) they sat unused at the Peru, IN winter quarters, after the 1938 closing of Al G. Barnes & Sells-Floto Circus.
The wagons were painted for the Cole show. Cole Bros. used some very distinctive titling styles in the 1940’s. The block lettering and round shield on the wagon in your photo is the 1942 lettering style. Few changes took place while on the Cole show other than the removal of the canvas apparatus and installation of the Liberty (hard rubber tire) wheels. These wagons were used on the Cole show thru the final 1950 season and have been sitting at the Paul Kelly Farm in Peru, IN ever since. All of the wooden parts have long since rotted away along with most of the wheels (from sinking into the mud).
These wagons stand apart from the typical wagons used by Cole Bros. in that the uprights are made of channel iron. Most of the Cole wagons used in the early years were from the (Fred Buchanan) Robbins Bros. and the Miller 101 Wild West (ex-Walter L. Main show) and used wooden uprights and frames. You’ll also note the hand forged piece of metal holding the ring for the chain holding the rear door is the same in both the Cole and Barnes photo’s.
The photo you have on the blog was taken by Koford and was sold thru Al Conover for a number of years. Hope this has been of some help.
Stephen T. Flint.
———————————————————————————————
The next five photos were sent to me along with some of the history of cargo wagon #88.
Thank you Stephen for this important information. I am only a small part of the circus world. It is people like you and others that help me make “The Circus Blog” successful in it’s historic and factual value………. IVAN
There is a great comment from Harry Kingston.
Share

Cole Bros Circus

Posted By on August 17, 2012

Cole Bros  on rail siding. 194o……………… A Stephen T. Flint photo.

Wagon 88 hauled the big top canvas.

Share

Cole Bros

Posted By on August 17, 2012

Wagon 88 unloading from the flat car 1940…………S.T. Flint photo.

Share

Cargo Wagon # 88

Posted By on August 17, 2012

At this time wagon 88 was on the cole shoe 1941.……S.T. Flint photo

Share

Cargo Wagon # 88

Posted By on August 17, 2012

Photo taken 1938.……… S.T. Flint photo.

Share