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I’m with National Geographic and we’re doing a special issue on vintage photos, one of which features a Silvan-Drew circus poster from 1929. I’m doing research on this circus and the American circus in general.

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The Silvan Drew Motorized Circus was on the road from 1927 to 1929. For the 1929 season it opened April 20 at Asheboro, North Carolina, then went north through Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, as far north as Connecticut, then south through New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. The season ended October 26 at Hertford, North Carolina The show went into winterquarters at Greensboro, North Carolina until it was sold at auction December 14, 1929. The 1931 National Geographic famous circus article by Bev Kelley is reportedly illustrated with a large outdoor billing stand of the Silvan Drew Circus that was taken in the Washington D.C. area probably in 1929. The Bandwagon November-December 1986 issue carried Part 1 of an article on the history of the 1927 and 1928 show by Joe Bradbury. It is 10 pages of great information and photos. The January February 1987 issue finishes the 1929 season on the Silvan Drew Motorized Circus as Part 2 adds another 7 pages of information.

John Polacsek

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