Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Barnum - 1873

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.


Dick Flint said...

Bob, actually it is more the opposite. The control of billboard space grew in the late 19th century, in some cases when former circus billposters settled in a community. Fairchild, shown here, was an early firm in the Newport/Covington, KY, area just south of Cincinnati. By the 1890s, trade associations of billposters appeared and much of their effort was to monopolize towns by squeezing out non-members who supposedly wouldn’t abide by trade association standards of conduct. Then, when firms merged, they began to control certain regions. This then met that itinerant billposters who might be posting for one company, such as a circus, were opposed by local companies. Community regulations also worked against the traveling billposter. Thus, circuses began to do business with the local companies in order to use the boards or space they controlled. I enjoy your blog and good luck to you as I know it requires much work!
Dick Flint

Bob Cline said...

Mr. Flint,
Thank you for the great explanation. I will openly admit that the advance / billposting is not a subject I am very familiar with. Your comment his gratefully appreciated.