Tien Tsi Tiu Troupe

Posted By on January 17, 2012

From the Carson collection 1948.

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Ringling Bros Circus

Posted By on January 17, 2012

Backyard photo…on the right is Otto Ringling. The other person’s name is unknown to me. Mr Ringling passed away in 1911.

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Old Time Acrobats

Posted By on January 17, 2012

Old Time Acrobats” was the name of the act. They did modern hand balancing and tumbling. The wardrobe is what sold the act.

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Dorothy Carson

Posted By on January 17, 2012

This Dorothy Carson Smith in 1940. She and her husband  Lee Smith…and brother John Carson were the well known for their roller skating act” The Royal Rockets’.  Many of the photos that you have seen come from her collection. Dorothy is in her late 80’s now and she she says….. “I could not be better”.

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The Valentiono Sisters

Posted By on January 17, 2012

They had a portable double trapeze act. Dorothy Carson said they could work anywhere… and did because of their rigging, No stakes no guy lines.

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Larry Ruhl & Sandy Winters

Posted By on January 17, 2012

I believe we worked with they people on a Paul Kay date in St. Louis, MO at Bush Stadium in the early 1960’s.  It was a tremendously powerful act !

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The Letter

Posted By on January 17, 2012

This letter brings back so many old memories. Jackie Knupp sent it to me for the circus blog.  Thanks Jackie.  Jackie is the daughter of David and May Knupp.  Her mother, May Kovar and her cat act were featured on Ringling in the early 1940’s. As for my Cobra trailer, while pulling away too sharply from the tent stake line,  the back of the trailer bumper caught one of the stakes. The damage was not all that bad, just repair some light wires and bend the bumper back.

At the time we were with Sid Kellner’s Great London Circus and we had an overnight jump. After the act we loaded up and in my haste, well stuff happens. On our way north we stopped to visit our friend the Allens in Pixley. We fixed the bumper and the wires.  Beverly made some lunch for us and within an hour we were on the road again. I don’t know how many of you knew the Allens. I can tell you this… they were fine people.

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Another Parade Another Town

Posted By on January 10, 2012

Here is one more great photo of my grandfather parading his “Big Show” as he called it. He is at the front of the parade in his two horse drawn buggy. Later he started to use the circus name more often. The name ‘Big Show” was only to separate himself some what from the other circuses and there numerous shows on the road in those days. The greater majority of circuses traveled by train from town to town and they played all the bigger cities. Grandfather was content with his little wagon show, but then I believe in 1913 or 1914 he started converting model T’s over to autos tractors that could pull his wagons that were modified with from auto frames into small trailer semis Then when the model A’s came out in 1927 he actually cut the back seat out of the cars exposing the frame and created a 5th wheel by chris-crossing steel ties and then used a steel stake as a king pin…. Note, the model T’s was his first conversion. Then later in 1928 he bought two Cadillacs and converted them over to tractors, they could pull much heavier loads because there larger motors and transmissions. I remember my father telling me a story about how they would have to put the model Ts in reverse and back up over hills. The model T was not powerful enough to pull a load up hill. Even in it’s lowest low gear it would stall out. Reverse had a much lower gear and could take the hill. but there were times that didn’t work and they would use two T’s. A puller and a pusher would win the day. If you go into circus categories, J.E. Henry Circus 1800-1900 there are photos of his equipment   This photo comes from the Bob Cline collection. Thank you again Bob.

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Wagon Show Circus Parade

Posted By on January 10, 2012

First and foremost I want to thank the person that sent me this wonderful photo of my grandfather J.E.Henry….Bob Cline…..Thank you Bob for your generosity. This is not the first time that Bob Cline has come forward to help the circus blog. Quite often I have asked Bob for his help and his circus savvy. I believe this photo was taken in Raton, New Mexico. The date is somewhere between 1905 and 1910? Grandfather had no motorized equipment at this time, it was a true wagon show…………… This photo is marked Beggs Wagon co. # 28………. See comment from Bob Cline.

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Ward Hall Presents

Posted By on January 10, 2012

These siamese twin brothers were on the Siebrand Circus & Carnival in the very early 1950’s. At that time their mother and father had a living trailer that was two fold, it was their home and show place. At the back end of the trailer was built an area that you could look into. The boys at that time were about 7 or 8 years old. They stayed with the Siebrands for almost the whole season. Then one day … they were gone. I never saw them againin this flyer of Ward Halls.

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