Project Description

Golden Bros. Circus Diamond Mirror Tableau

The Golden Bros. Circus tableau is unique in that as a parade vehicle, there were no carvings used to adorn the sides. Quite Simply, three mirrors and paint made this wagon the sight to behold that it was. It is presumed that is was originally part of the newly formed American Circus Corporation’s Howe’s Great London Shows in 1922.

(1924 – Joseph Bradbury Album # 41 – photo # 5B – Golden Bros. Circus, June Stickney ( Woolrich) & Diamond Mirror Tab – Art Doc Miller Collection)

The Golden Bros. Circus had this wagon in 1923 and 1924 where it was painted yellow with green trim. It served as a ticket wagon on the Golden Bros. Circus in 1923. The wagon was then sold to George Christy who utilized it on his second show called the Lee Bros. Circus in 1925 and 1926. The wagon remained in the S. Houston winter quarters of the Christy Bros. Circus for the next ten years before being sold to Ken Maynard for his new Wild West show being formed out in California.

(1936 – Joseph Bradbury Album # 6 – photo # 8B – Ken Maynard’s Circus)

You can clearly see the painted designs are different than when it was on Golden bros. 12 years earlier. This moon and stars pattern would be the basis for the repainting at Circus World Museum years later. Sadly, the Ken Maynard owned Diamond Ranch Wild West failed miserably and the show was re-possessed by United Tent and Awning for the unpaid canvas bill. the equipment set there for a long time before this wagon was sold to Bradley and Kaye’s Kiddieland near Los Angeles, CA. in 1949.

(1950 – Joseph Bradbury Album # 15 – photo # 40C -at Bradley and Kaye’s Amusement Park in Los Angeles, CA.)

There it was used as a rental property for whoever came along. In 1964, the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin bought it and donated it to the Circus World Museum.

(1964 – Joseph Bradbury Album # 58 – photo # 39B – former Golden Bros. 3 Mirror Tableau wagon at the Circus World Museum in Oct, 1964)

The wagon has been restored  a couple times over the years. In 1965, the first repainting of the wagon offered up a blue wagon with a moon and planets design. This was artistic license based on the Ken Maynard days in 1936.

(1965 – Richard Cline photo)

You can clearly see in this photo, that the skyboard has been changed to a semi circular arch rather than the cut out pattern the wagon has been carrying for the last 30+ years. Today it is repainted to it’s original look on the Golden Bros. Circus in 1923.

(2013 – Dave Lorbeske photo)

The wagon is 15’9″ long x 7’1″ wide and 9’11” tall.

The wagon can be seen in person at Circus World in Baraboo, Wisconsin