Mighty Thomas Carnival

 Mighty Thomas Carnival Film footage of the old shows is rare. Here’s a great short piece of film showing some of the folks on the Art B.Thomas Shows back in the late 40’s or early 50’s. This show would become the Mighty Thomas Carnival and the show carries on the traditions of of it’s roots […]

Henry and John Pollie Were Circus And Carnivals Owners

History of The Pollies and Their And The Mark They Left On The Carnival Business Henry and John Pollies owned circuses and carnivals from at least 1910-1930s. John Pollie worked as a concessionaire with games of chance in carnivals, 1930s-1960s. Their business and personal life is wonderfully documented in the Papers of John C. Pollie, […]

 Johnny J. Jones An Early “Master Showman”

The Johnny J. Jones Exposition Leagacy Coal Miner To A Great Showman Johnny J. Jones Early Life and Career Johnny’s father, Ebenezer Jones, was a coal miner of Welsh descent born in Llanrwst, Wales. His mother, Ann Harris Jones was also born in Wales. After immigrating to America in the early 1870’s his family soon […]

Largest Carnival Railroad Shows Collaborate Instead of Compete

 Bringing To Life The Amusement Corporation of America Royal American Shows, The Beckman and Gerety Shows, and the Rubin and Cherry Exposition Shows collaborate together instead of compete against each other. In 1938 owners of the three largest railroad shows in the United States of America came together to try an experiment. They were the […]

Mickey Mouse Circus On The Carnival Midway

Mickey Mouse Circus Was A Favorite With Kids! The ever popular mouse circus was a family favorite on the carnival midway. One of the most popular shows on the midway was the “Mickey Mouse Circus”. The name was shamelessly ‘borrowed ‘ from the well known cartoon character of the day and exploited for it’s popularity. […]

Girl Show Revue

The Girl Shows Girl Show Revues Toured America On The Carnival Midways Long before the first light twinkled in Las Vegas or the first floor show opened in Havana, the big girl show ‘revues’ were touring America on traveling carnivals. The first of these, beginning in the mid 1800’s were known as “Posing Shows” and […]

The AT Show

Athletic Shows Drew Quite A Crowd On Carnival Midways Do you know about Athletic Shows from back in the early days of the carnival? Athletic Shows or AT’s as they were known in the business, were popular long before cable TV networks like ESPN and HBO brought professional boxing and wrestling matches into family homes as […]

Wild Animal Menagerie

Remembering The Animal Menagerie From Carnival Midways of Yesteryear The separation between circus and carnival business is thinner than many circus folks would like to admit. Many carnivals, in addition to offering circus style sideshows, had a Wild Animal Menagerie under big canvas tops on their midways. Many big carnivals carried a Menagerie which was […]

Calliope Truck On Craft 20 Big Shows

Beautiful Calliope On Crafts Greater Shows Midways Of Long Ago Were Like Visiting An Art Museum Outdoors A nicely painted (air) calliope truck poses in front of a beautiful bannerline on the Crafts Greater Shows sometime in the late 1920’s. (This would later become the Crafts ’20’ Big Shows) The spot is sponsored by the […]

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