By the end of 1916, the remaining Gentry Bros. were in financial difficulties and sold the show to two of their staff, J. D. Newman and Ben Austin. The show was a 14 car show and remained almost untouched through 1922 when they came off the road. Floyd and Howard King picked up the title again in 1926 after laying untouched for the last three years. The King Brothers altered the title from Shows to Circus and kept it on the road for three years until hard times hit them also. This for sale ad was in Billboard Nov. 2, 1929. The three elephants, Mom, Danny, and Eva were sold to the Otis L. Smith Carnival.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The title using Gentry Bros. Circus was not one used by the Gentry Bros. I can not speak with absolute certainty here but I believe the United Circus Corporation title on top with a California address indicates that Sam B. Dill was the owner from 1930 to 1931 with Mr. Dill being a west coast guy. Can someone give us a better insight on this corporation?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The Gentry Bros. began their operation in 1887 as Professor Gentry's Canine Paradox. In a couple years the show had grown to two seperate units called Professor Gentry's Famous Dog & Pony Show. There were four brothers, Henry B., Frank, Walter W., & J. W. Gentry. By 1899 all four had their own unit on the road with 5 rail cars in each show. They bought their first elephant in 1890 which broke it's leg being unloaded and was euthanized immediately. 8 years later they bought a baby elephant again and named it Pinto. Same thing happened again. In 1899 they again bought another Indian female elephant and named her Pinto again. This was the first performing elephant in the Gentry lot. The Brothers started getting out of the business after 1906. Only Walter and Henry remained in business until they sold out in 1916. The title continued many times after 1916 by various owners. This ad was from 1914.
Monday, July 28, 2008
This is the cover of the 1911 route book as printed in its entirety in this fabulous book by Judge Gollmar. The Gollmars as every one knows were cousins to the Ringlings. They called Baraboo home as well. Their show existed for 25 years closing under Gollmar ownership in 1916. I can't explain why, but rarely do you find anything about the Gollmar show. No posters are displayed in the books that have been printed. You just don't see contracts and other paper laying around. A Great legacy left behind and Judge Gollmar's book captures the essence of the Gollmar bros. Circus completely.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Well, I hope everyone was able to avoid the long lines and pushy crowds with those Christmas in July sales. We saw three Christmas movies this week on the Hallmark Channel. Now we can get back to the matter at hand. If you are going to get people in the seats, you need to advertise. Here are several ads the Gollmar Bros. Circus used. This one was from Iowa City, Iowa - 1908.
( By double clicking them, they will enlarge enough to read them. )
Fairbury, Nebraska - 1912. The town had already had a tremendous amount of Circus excitement when the home town heroes, the Campbell Bros. Great Consolidated Shows had returned on August 10th for a tremendous showing only to be foreclosed by the bank for over $50,000.00 in loans two days later. Al G. Campbell was a part owner of the Cole Bros. Circus also and they played Fairbury on August 16th. Now here comes the Gollmar Bros. Circus on Sept. 12th.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
In order to celebrate all the Huge, Huge Christmas in July sales going on now, I thought I should get out there and direct traffic to keep the crowds from running over the Red carpets and such.
This is allowable by Blog regulations 3.1.24 of the International Blog Rulers Association as pointed out to me by my mentor, like father like son figure and co-conspirator, Mr. Jim "Da Bagpipe Guy" Peterson who has graciously shown me all the technical, untechnical, and who's being technical aspects of this Blogdom Hoopla!
Which explains the stool in my front room that has Technical wrote on it so that when you sit down on it, you now have technical support! Thanks Jim!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
This was book # 8 issued to Charles W. Parker, advance agent for Barnum & Bailey in 1918. He was in Buffalo, N.Y. four days, then to Jamestown, N.Y., Erie, Pa., and Youngstown, Ohio. He spent $12.86 in four days in Buffalo, $5.66 in Jamestown, N.Y., $3.00 in Erie, Pa. and $3.39 in Youngstown for a total of $24.91 for the entire week including RR fares.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I found this in the Billboard dated March 1, 1899 on page 9. Please note that an independent contractor is the bill poster and not a circus employee. This appears to be the norm of the 19th century shows and wasn't until the turn of the century that shows started using their own bill posting crews.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
The Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth toured England and Europe from 1898 to 1902. Upon their triumphant return, the Strobridge Litho Company produced a wide variety of posters for them. These would turn out to be some of the finest pieces of American Entertainment artwork this country would ever know. The elephants were always my favorites.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
This is an original out of the October 13, 1906 Billboard on pages 28 and 29. Being the large show that they were, they garnered a huge double page spread. They had already completed their huge tours of England and Europe and were now re-establishing themselves as a powerful Circus in America. The Barnum & Bailey show was operating under an ownership of Barnum & Bailey Ltd. with George O. Starr as the Chairman, Fred B. Hutchinson and Charles B. Hutchinson as Directors.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Again this is a copy off the microfilm that was enhanced with Adobe Photoshop. Ben E. Wallace out of Peru, Indiana was a showman that used several titles on his circus over the years including Cook & Whitby, Wallace and Anderson, and the Great Wallace shows. You all know the rest of the story. Ben Wallace bought the Carl Hagenbeck exhibition at the end of 1906. He then added the two names together to become Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, one of the largest shows on the road for 30 more years. This page was in Billboard on Sept. 29, 1906 on page 33.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
This an original copy from Billboard. This was ran in the September 1, 1906 issue on page 29. Frank A. Robbins was a long time showman operating and owning his own shows off and on from 1881 through his final season of 1915. The two young elephants shown should be Cross Country Babe and Queen. Any one interested in his extensive life history need only turn to the 18 part series presented in the Circus Historical Society's periodical, the Bandwagon by Robert Sabia beginning in the May / June 2000 issue and running all the way through the July / August issue of 2003. The entire set is still available as back issues for 4.00 each + Shipping by contacting:
Bandwagon Back Issues
2515 Dorset Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43221
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
This is one of the series in Billboard. This was issued on September 15, 1906. This is directly from Billboard, thus a better quality than the Pawnee Bill page was. Col. Fred T. Cummins started at the 1904 St. Louis Fair with his first named show called the Cummins' Wild West Indian Congress & Rough Riders of the World. 1905 found him in Chicago now being called the Cummins' Wild West and Indian Congress, Custer's Massacre and Siege of Fort Dearborn. From 1906 to 1909 it was generally referred to as Cummins' Wild West. By 1910 the Colonel had joined forces with Vernon C. Seaver to have the Young Buffalo Wild West show. They stayed in business together through 1914.
Monday, July 07, 2008
A friend of ours had this poster in his collection. After he passed away, I never saw it again. Don't know where his collection went. I'm not a Wild West Historian either. Fortunately a fabulous book by Allen L. Farnum has this same poster on the back cover listed as 1893-1894. The book is called Pawnee Bill's Historic Wild West, A Photo Documentary of the 1900-1905 Show Tours. This book is filled with unbelieveable photos of the show on tour. This is a must to anyone that enjoys Wild West Shows.
This is on the town of Pawnee, Oklahoma Website. Pawnee Bill's home is open to the public. The Ranch is full of animals. They have a Pawnee Bill festival on the third weekend of June. Pawnee, Oklahoma is also the birthplace of the Dick Tracy artist and cartoon.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
This is a fine piece of period artwork. Letterheads spoke as much about the show as the actual business dealings at times. As a result, Letterheads were literally pieces of artwork. This particular letter was sent to Wm. P. Hall in Lancaster, Missouri. The original is located in the Wm. P. Hall files at the Circus World Museum. I don't want to cause a conflict of interest, so I am showing you the Letterhead artwork only and have cropped out the actual letter.
This was a Billboard ad on Dec. 7, 1907. This was one of the first indicators of the Pawnee Bill Show being disbanded and some of what was being offered for sale. ( Sorry, I know I ran this before, but it goes with the Pawnee Bill Show here also. )