Note Sheet No. 4, September 15, 1942. Note: Only some articles are included in this online edition. Illustrations are not included.
The above show opened the season for 1891 in Columbus, Ohio., Apr 25-26 and then moved to Springfield, O., for the 27th, Dayton the 28th and into Indiana to play Indianapolis on the 29th and Terre Haute for the 30th. Then on to St. Louis, Mo., they opened there on May 2nd for one week.
There were two advance cars this season, No.1 with M. C. Allen, Mgr., with nineteen men; and No. 2 with C. D. Hammond Mgr., with 12 helpers. The Circus train consisted of 19 flats; 10 stock; 3 elephant oars; 2 box; 4 sleepers, making a total of 38 cars and with the two in advance, total of 40. All rolling stock was owned by Sells Bros.
Menagerie consisted of 36 cages of animals, 14 elephants 22 camels, Twin Baby Hippopotami, 2 Giraffes, 2 Polar Bears, 2 Woolly Elephants and 6 Performing Colorado Cattle. Seven new cages, 5 new baggage wagons, and a new ticket wagon, new calliope, and eight new cars had been added during the Winter season.
The Canvas was all new. The Big Top consisted of a 150' round with two 50' middle pieces. Menagerie was a 100' round with 7-20' middles. All property as listed was owned by Sells Bros., and all privileges were owned and managed by them also.
The show with this imposing title was organized in Janesville, Wisc., with Col. Burr Robbins as General Director, and E. D. Colvin Manager; L. B. Lent, Gen. Agent; Col. Robt. Filkins, Gen-Advtg-Agent; T. C. Kimball, Contracting agent; Morris Connor in charge of Car No. 1 with 15 billposters and lithographers; Frank McKee general Press Agent in Charge of Car No.2 with 10 billposters; one lime-light artist (?); one soap decorator (?) and three fence-decorators; M. A. Aldridge, Press agent with show; Den Stone Equestrian-Director.
Performers included among many were the following; Chas W. Fish; Mmme Martha; Miss Ellen Cook; a troupe of Iroquois Indians and Prof. White's Dog Circus. Prof. Dowd Strong Man; Herr Neygaard's Troupe of performing Stallions; Molock - Giant Horse; Spencer Deleran - Boss Hostler with Wm Scott and 30 assistants; Thos Fay in charge of canvas with Paul Bare and 25 assistants; C. A. Hutchinson Master of Transportation with 15 assistants; Wm Wallace in charge of Menagerie; Prof. Gibler's Band of 15 pieces; Prof. Robt. Goin's Colored Alabama Brass Band.
Menagerie consisted of 25 cages of animals; 10 elephants; and a number of camels and dromedaries. The parade consisted of 6 new Tableau cars, the Melchor Orchestra, musical chariot, three open dens of hyenas, lion and tigers; 25 mounted people; 3 Brass Bands of music; 2 pony teams; 10 mounted knights of Palestine; and all the cages led by Chas W. Fish driving his three horses tandem to his newly-imported English dog-car. The Show travelled by rail on a train of 25 - 50ft cars, made expressly for this circus They also had two new advertising cars as above. The show exhibited In Monee, Ill., May 2, Kankakee 3rd; thence to Clinton for the 4th and Springfield on the 5th. . . .
In Bandwagon, Vol. 1 No. 10 (Oct), 1942, p. 2, was an explanation of the terms "lime-light artist" and "soap decorator":
Scott Leslie, an old trouper of the by-gone stage and movie days, of Tampa, Fla., . . . the following explanations . . . "I remember away back in yesteryear, advertisers used to send out Soap Decorators and of course the circus had them too. The artist was quick on drawing fancy pictures and designs, along with the lettering, and he would do the drawings on the store windows with soap. I've seen these displays up and down the main streets in many towns and they were clever and made attractive ads. . . . As to the Lime light artist . . . you see back when gas light was the best thing in the big cities and little towns had only kerosene lamps, the Spotlight for the theatres, etc., had to use gas. In the theatre (or elsewhere) the "artist" would set up his spotlight in front of the balcony and with his Spot he could brighten up the individual and with htis Flood he could cover the stage."
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Last modified November 2005.
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Last modified November 2005.