Friday, March 09, 2012

Columbia Bandwagon

Taken in 1936 on the Cole Bros. Circus by Bob Good, you should note at this point the furthest rear carving of the lady has an arch over her as well as a couple triangle carvings above the arch. Please note that the section towards the front above the trunk is solid. No door is there.

1 comment:

Bob Cline said...

I received this email from a good friend today.


“Columbia,” for which there is no central allegorical figure to attribute the nickname, was constructed for 1902. Forepaugh-Sells 1902-1907, Barnum & Bailey 1908-1918, RBBB 1919-1920, then storage until the Christy sale.

Carnie style wheels were actually commercial truck and trailer wheels. There must have been a lot of WWI surplus, from Liberty trucks and such, plus all those that became available as they were replaced in commercial service by pneumatic rubber tires. In one of his Cole articles Bradbury mentioned the LA area as location where the Cole outfit acquired their population of them.

The new wheels on the wagon lowered the body. This meant that the bottom was closer to the ground. They had to move the rear axle forward so that it didn’t scrape bottom going from the runs to the flat car deck. The axle relocation, which also involved adding a lot of steel to the underframe, really altered the appearance of the wagon.

The wagon went from Cole to Bill Brinley, and then to Kelley. Brinley’s involvement is covered in a piece in Bandwagon, at the time that Bradbury’s series on the Cole show concluded.