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Am looking for information about Lillian Fish, supposedly a circus high-diver. She was born in Chicago around 1900. Know she was married in Iowa about 1919, so I presume performed in Iowa or Illinois? Looks like she was married to my grandfather, Alex Fasules, for about a year around that time. Would appreciate any help you may be able to provide.

Thank you, Alex Fasules

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By the 1920s there were few ‘high diving’ acts on traveling circuses. Sometimes such an act was billed as an extra for a spring indoor opener, but they generally weren’t on the daily changing outdoor route through the summer. They would be more commonly seen with traveling carnivals, at amusement parks and perhaps county and state fairs, where they served a free attractions. Residency, per se , plays no major role in itinerancy; a show from Iowa could have traveled anywhere the route took it. Your best bet will be to search for female divers in the trade journals New York Clipper and Billboard, as per information given in other responses. Use the names you have for her, single and married, and variations thereon, and any and all spouses. Also, expect that she won’t have been billed as Lillian Fish, but by another name, an alias, with perceived greater publicity appeal. That will make the search more complex. The more information that you can find about her life off the shows, the better the chances that you’ll find her in a show chronicle.

Fred Dahlinger Jr., Curator of Circus History, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL

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