Friday, August 29, 2008

The Circus World LLC

Today has been a big day for me. My website has been up for a few weeks. I've been changing somethings around and have a lot more to do but it's making progress. At this point, I have a few things in particular to work on but I like the general feel of the site. is now my official online Circus Store. I'll be adding a lot of items over the next few weeks and modifying some pages. Enjoy the great FREE Videos.
After these couple Hurricanes get away from us all, I'll be listing my book "America's Elephants" here as an eBook initially then a printed version later on. As of today, items can be purchased through the Products listing on the left. We have tested it a couple times today to make sure that everything went through so if anyone has a problem, concern, or question, feel free to contact me through the site email at
I want to offer to any and all the opportunity to sell whatever you might have that is circus related also. If you have old circus equipment, costumes, emphemera, posters, books, movies, slides, etc, I'll be glad to place it on mysite for you to sell. It costs you nothing and can remain as long as it takes to sell for you. You keep it until it sells, then I'll get you together with the buyer.
I hope you enjoy the store front as much as I have enjoyed getting to do this. I look forward to seeing you at the CHS Convention and hearing from a lot of you. Enjoy the fresh roasted Peanuts, Hot roasted Peanuts, Coca Cola, Cotton Candy, get your sno-cones here. Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Billboard Ad # 1

Tonight, I bring you seven great ads of one of my true pleasures, artwork. I had to enhance all of these ads with Adobe Photoshop but it was well worth it.

This first ad was as important as anything else in the printing business but one item you very rarely ever saw advertised. This great ad was in the Billboard on October 1, 1898 on page 19.

Billboard Ad # 2

This nice piece was in the Billboard on September 1, 1899 on page 22.

Billboard Ad # 3

This was in the Billboard on November 1, 1898 on page 18.

Billboard Ad # 4

This is out of the Billboard on May 1, 1899 on page 22.

Billboard Ad # 5

Found in the Billboard on April 25, 1903 on Page 21.

Billboard Ad # 6

Here's a beautiful piece of artwork. The ad was in Billboard on March 1, 1899 on page 27.

Billboard Ad # 7

This was in the Billboard on October 26, 1901 on page 18.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ruby Haag

Sad news today from Darren Bryan

I recieved this from good friend Darren Bryan in Dublin, Georgia today.

Ruby Haag Brown

Graveside services for Ruby Haag Brown, age 96, will be held Tuesday, August 26th at
1 p.m. at Brownstown Fairview Cemetery in Indiana.

Ms Brown was the daughter of the late Charles William Fisher and Ruth Eleanor Gregory. She was a native of Brownstown Indiana, traveled with the circus for 50 years, lived 20 years in Donna Texas and spent her last 2 years in Dublin, Georgia with family.

She enjoyed the circus life and performed for many shows including: The Mighty Haag Shows, Ringling Bros Barnum Bailey, the Circus Hall of Fame, and many Shrine Circuses. Her talents included aerial acts like the Loop Walk and the Spanish Web. She was famous for being carried in Alice the Elephant’s mouth by her leg. She will also be fondly remembered by her fans for “Miss Ruby’s Dogs.” She was a lifetime member of the Order of the Eastern Star #29 in Royal Center, Indiana.

Survivors include her son Harry Eugene Haag Jr. (Patricia) of Dublin, Georgia; 10 grandchildren, and many great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Fred Leo Brown of 43 years and Harry Eugene Haag Sr. of 29 years; son, Charles Ernest Haag; daughter, Naomi Ruth Haag; sisters, Josephine Silverlake and Sarah Evelyn Fisher and brother, Arthur Gregory Fisher.

Billboard through the ages

When Billboard first hit the streets in 1894 I Believe, it was basically a trade journal for Billposters, Litho Companies and Billing in general. If I remember the story correctly it was actually started by the Donaldsons which also had a Litho and printing company just south of Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Billboard began it's life as a once a month publication. On May 1st, 1900, they published the last issue on a monthly basis and by May 5th had begun the familiar weekly format. Changes were beginning throughout the publication. On May 12th, 1900, this Tent Shows logo started the very first Circus section of the Billboard. For the 6 years prior to this, very little if any circus items were talked about.

The logo for the Circus section changed many times. The following posts will give you just a small idea of the changes over the years.

Billboard in 1901

I know this logo for the Circus section was used prior to Decembr 7, 1901 but for some reason I did not write down when it was used the first time.

Billboard in Dec. 1901

This new logo for the Circus section showed up on December 7, 1901 on page 33 for the first time.

Billboard from 1902

This is the first time this new logo was used for the Circus section. The date was May 17, 1902 as found on Page 5.

Billboard in 1930

Billboard in 1953

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wisconsin - Home to many a Circus

This is a fantastic book about the showfolks that called the State of Wisconsin home. It was co-authored by two of the alltime great circus historians, Mr. Stuart Thayer and Mr. Fred Dahlinger Jr. It was issued in 1998 through the Circus World Museum and is 142 pages long.

So to honor the Badger State Showmen, I've posted a few pieces to follow of a few great Wisconsin Shows.

Dode Fisk - 1906 to 1910

Dode Fisk called Wonewoc, Wisconsin home. He rose from a show horse to a Dog and Pony wagon show to finally a 13 car railroad show with one elephant, Ding, before he sold it all to Jerry Mugivan in 1911.

Adam Forepaugh - Sells Bros.

While Adam Forepaugh originally called Philadelphia home and the Sells Bros. called Columbus, Ohio home, the Combined Adam Forepaugh and Sells Bros. under Ringling ownership called Baraboo, Wisconsin home.

Ringling Bros. World's Greatest Shows

This is a full sheet letterhead in my collection. It is definitely one of the more grandeur designs the Ringlings used. I can't place an exact date of use on it though.

Burr Robbins - 1874

This is probably the oldest and most unusual envelope in my collection. The letter that goes with the envelope is dated 1874. Notice the stamp went in the lower left hand corner instead of the upper right hand corner.

Here's a 40 year old postcard!

The city of Delavan, Wisconsin is largely considered to be the "Birthplace of Wisconsin Circuses" with over 25 shows rolling out of there between 1850 and 1890.

Back of Postcard

This is the information on the back side. There was an amazing amount of Circus History being born right here. ( You should be able to double-click this to get it large enough to read. )

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Old Bostock Postcard

This is indicative of the fine artwork that was done at the turn of the century. It's a shame you just don't see quality like this anymore.

Bostock Cage act - 1910 era

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Look Familiar?

Here we find the same Letterhead as the Russell Bros. Pan Pacific Circus now with the Clyde Beatty Circus title. The Beatty title was used starting in 1945 as well for the first time. Did the Beatty show use this letterhead in 1945? That I can't answer, perhaps someone else can.

1945 Letterhead - Front page

1945 Letterhead - Back Page

This was a four page letterhead very similiar to the ones used by the American Circus Corporation for years. The inside two pages contained photos of the show and its perfomers. This was page 4 or the back page.

Russell Bros. Pan Pacific Circus - 1945

The show in 1945 is now under the complete ownership of Art Concello.

1944 Changes the Title

By 1944, The most sought after performer in America, Clyde Beatty is now featured here and becomes an owner.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

It's Fair week somewhere!

To celebrate the Great State Fairs around this nation, and those that make it great, ( Jim, are you still out there ? ) we'll be taking a short stroll through some of those great times.

Now here's some good Food!

Simply the Best!

NO State Fair is complete without a Root Beer Float!

Yippee! Love those Fairs.

1936 Season - Back Cover of Program

What a crowd!

1939 Season

1941 Season

This is the season route book. It is simply a legal size piece of paper folded into four sections and printed front and back with the complete route, program, and all performers as well as Dept. personnel.

1943 Season

There's some Big Names in Show Business on this roster. This was the last year that the Webbs owned the show.

Nice Letterhead - Year(s) Unknown

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Russell Bros. # 1

The Russell Bros. Circus was owned by Claude and Pauline Webb from 1928 to 1943. They originated as Webb Bros. Circus and then changed the name. I believe I have enough stuff to continue this over the next couple days including the new ownership by Art Concello in 1944 and the addition of Clyde Beatty's famed Lion and Tiger act.

Russell Bros. # 2

Russell Bros. # 3

Russell Bros. # 4

Russell Bros. # 5

Friday, August 01, 2008

Here's something Different # 1

While this ad came from the Fairbury News and Gazette ( Nebraska ) on May 9, 1913, the exact same artwork is used on Terry's Big Uncle Tom's Cabin show in 1918 as found in the Lancaster Excelsior ( Missouri ) Although neither of these are real circus operations, they both definitely qualify as Outdoor Amusement Businesses. Once more, we have another part of American History you'll never see again.

Here's something Different # 2

This was found in the Fairbury News and Gazette ( Nebraska ) on July 19, 1912.