The International Independent Showmen’s Museum presents . . .
The rich and colorful world of Traveling Shows in America
History is created through past events. The carnival has certainly captivated us with all its past events. It all started with the Columbia Exposition back in 1893. The exhibits depict artifacts from all eras and represent those wonderful innovations that stemmed from the Columbia Exposition.
One legacy of the Columbian Exposition’s is seen today through Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center. Initially envisioned as a utopian experiment (Prototype Of Tomorrow) and the corporate model. EPCOT is packaged as utopian and educational, with major corporations showcasing technology, culture, and history.
The Manufacturer’s, Machinery, and Electricity Buildings of the Columbian Exposition have been concentrated into the Pavilions of corporate giants as GE and AT&T at Epcot with the message of progress and technology seen at the Columbian Exposition so long ago.
The Midway at Disney is recreated as well, with Pavilions for foreign countries, providing “the world for 50 cents,” which has a much higher cost today to see the world at Epcot.
The amazing accomplishment of Handy’s Department of Publicity and Promotion pales in comparison to the Disney Marketing Department and its ability to make the corporate messages of Disney so familiar, and somehow so natural, to parents and children alike. The linking of business and technology found throughout EPCOT is a significant legacy of the Columbian Exposition; Disney’s fascination with technology and progress.
From that grand beginning, traveling shows brought entertainment that traveled to the people – visiting cities and towns so that all could experience the fun and excitement of the traveling shows right in their own backyard. Here at the Showmen’s Museum, we tell the history through the exhibits and displays. You will soon discover that the legacy of the Columbian Exposition has survived even today.
The first movies were shown right on the carnival midway. There were Western Shows, Minstrel Shows, Music Shows, Sideshows, Thrill Rides, Concessions and so much more.
The International Independent Showmen’s Museum preserves the history of all traveling shows in America.
Each exhibit is unique and brings back wonderful memories of your own experience at a fair.
There are exhibits on the inside and outside too!
And when you visit you will see so more than you can possibly imagine!