I think my love of circuses started when I first read about the Midway at the Columbian Exposition of 1893. Don't know what the Columbian Exposition is? Please look it up so we can be friends again. Yes, the Midway at this particular Fair was a bit more 'side-show-esque', but it had all the beginnings of the great circuses we saw from the 1940s-60s. Of course, circuses continued on past the 60's, I just mentioned these years because they are by far my favorites!
If we are all being honest with each other, we can say that there is just some sort of allure that the circus holds. Whether you are attracted to the detailed and fantastical costumes, the trained animals, the weird talents, or even just the tattooed lady, there is something out there that will grab you! Hopefully not literally.
I could honestly go on for hours upon hours of the history of the circus and every little fact and detail that my mind holds. I did convince a teacher to let me do a 25 page research paper on Fairs and the history of the Midway, so I pride myself in knowing A TON of information that I rarely get to talk about. But I won't bore you. Promise. Why don't we just take a stroll back in time! Look at these amazing photographs from circuses past.
Oh, before I forget, don't just focus on the people in the photos. The backgrounds of all of these are AMAZING! I love looking at the old trains, and the little odds and ends laying around. Its all just so magical!
I'm leading in with my favorite photograph. This lovely little lady is Miss Pinito del Oro. This
picture was taken in 1953, and this sassy little aerialist knows how to work the cameras. Can we
all just take a moment and fawn over her little top. Perfect for summer.
First off, THAT OUTFIT! THAT HAIR PIECE! Oh, and I guess that pose shes doing is pretty neat and
all, BUT DID YOU SEE THAT OUTFIT!?!?! There is no exact date to the photo, but its estimated to
be taken in the early 1950s.
Here are a pair of performers from the King Brothers Circus. This picture may be dated 1950, but these outfits
aren't dated at all! They are just as appropriate today as they were in yesteryear! Notice the elephants
hanging out in the background. Typical Friday morning.
A few things: THIS IS THE WARDROBE WAGON. I would absolutely die to even be near all
of the amazing outfits that this truck held. These gals obviously knew what they were doing
hanging around this place. Also, please note the tiny little chihuahua on the arm of the
lady on the left. This picture is perfect.
Heres performer Lottie Brunn just practicing and being beautiful in 1949. I just love this photo
so so much. Probably because I can't juggle. I appreciate her skills.
Heres a snapshot from the Dailey Brothers Circus in 1950. Shes got a lion cub with her. Need I
say more? Actually, yes. Look at the car in the background. Heaven!
I think its safe to say that I would have been in the circus had I been born in an earlier decade. I
probably would have been in this picture. The costumes are amazing, the abundance of ostrich
feathers are amazing, the horse head walking stick/baton is amazing. Everything.
AH. Look at this Midway entrance to the Ringling Brothers Circus. This picture was taken in
1941, and I could honestly spend the rest of the day looking at the outfits and facial expressions
of all the people in it! The little girl in the front right appears to be crying. How a person
could be upset at a place like this escapes me. I hope shes crying because she had to leave.
Thats the only excuse.
I hope you all fell as much in love with those photographs as I did. Which was your favorite? What do you find interesting about circuses? I want to hear from you!
Until next time...