• 6
    Apr

Hitting a Circus Jackpot at Annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

This year I hit the jackpot in my on-going quest to add to my collection of circus memorabilia. Each March, for most of the past 32 years, I’ve attended the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair in St. Petersburg, Fla., searching for new items to expand my collection. The past three years I’ve written WorthPoint articles about […]

Read More
  • 20
    Dec

Advertisers, Just Like the American Public, Loved the Circus

Not long ago, circus performers were as popular as today’s movie and music stars. Their images appeared regularly in magazine advertisements for non-circus products—everything from cigarettes to musical instruments to insurance policies. The American public has always loved the circus, so it’s not surprising that advertisers would take advantage of the circus’s popularity. Adding circus […]

Read More
  • 10
    Oct

Tibbals Learning Center Expansion a Boon for Circus Researchers, Scholars, Historians

SARASOTA, Fla. — With the recent opening of the New Wing of the Tibbals Learning Center, the Ringling Circus Museum at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is now the most significant circus archival and interactive space in the United States. Public exhibit space in the Tibbals Learning Center includes Howard Bros. Circus, […]

Read More
  • 6
    Sep

Collectibles Filing System Helps Keep Circus Ephemera in Order

When I was a young boy, I decorated my bedroom walls with circus posters and cut circus pictures out of magazines to fill a scrapbook. However, I never gave serious thought to preserving or categorizing what I found. Over the years, most of those early items were lost or tossed. When I first started to […]

Read More
  • 18
    Jul

Jumbo the Elephant Toys Lived Long After the Great Pachyderm Passed On

Jumbo the Elephant arrived in 1882 from England to appear as a feature attraction in The Greatest Show On Earth. But, P.T. Barnum wasn’t the only businessman to benefit financially from the huge elephant. For decades, entrepreneurs capitalized on Jumbo’s likeness and name. Barnum’s Jumbo was the subject of many advertising trade cards. Kazine Laundry […]

Read More
  • 13
    Jun

New Circus Poster Exhibit Features Storied Strobridge Lithographs

Circus posters are highly prized by collectors. They have always been the lifeblood of circus advertising. Among the most treasured are those posters created by the Strobridge Lithographing Company. The Amazing American Circus Poster exhibit, features posters printed by Strobridge from 1878 to 1939 and is now on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum through […]

Read More
  • 31
    May

The Circus In Art

Even for circus collectors, only a privileged few will ever own an original painting by one of the great masters, but original circus art and limited-edition prints are readily available. I own several pieces of original, circus art. One of my favorites is a block print of a performing elephant, received as a gift in […]

Read More
  • 18
    May

Mysterious Ringling Bros. Coloring Book – Is It Authentic?

Most kids enjoy spending time coloring inside the lines of images in simple, inexpensive coloring books. Circus coloring books may be big sellers at the concession stand, but they are not high on the list of circus memorabilia sought by serious collectors. Many of them are generic, often printed on newsprint, with a few pages […]

Read More
  • 4
    Apr

The Circus When America Was Young

The “Golden Age of the Circus” is a perplexing period of time that historians have difficulty pinpointing. One historian identified 1880 to 1918 as the Golden Age and linked the decline of the railroad circus with its end.1 But other historians have a range of opinions: 1880-1900,2 1860-1930,3 1840-1940,4 beginning in the 1850s,5 or ending […]

Read More
  • 22
    Mar

Another Year’s Worth of Collectibles at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Each March, I spend a three days at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, hunting circus memorabilia for my collection. Last March, I wrote an article for WorthPoint describing this annual event titled Searching For Circus Collectibles. Another year has flown by and I just finished another busy weekend hunt at the 2011 Book Fair. The Florida […]

Read More