• 8 Mar
    2011

A Circus Collector’s Connect-the-Dots Find: Paul Anka Promotional Postcards

Totally unexpected, there in the middle of a shoebox full of postcards, were several promotional postcards for pop singer Paul Anka. I was at an antique auction preview and the other browsers gathered around couldn’t understand why I was so excited. It’s doubtful anyone—other than me—understood the importance of my find and how a postcard […]

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  • 7 Feb
    2011

Mail-Order Circus: The Greatest Show on Earth in Cardboard Miniature

Twenty-five cents and two box tops from Lever products and once got you a 35-piece, punch-out circus by mail; and not just any circus, mind you, but Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, “The Greatest Show on Earth.” That’s what the magazine advertisement promised to children of all ages in 1948. Premium offers have […]

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  • 1 Feb
    2011

Circus Super Stars: Wild Animal Trainers

Circus purists will tell you, “A circus isn’t a ‘real circus’ unless it features animals.” Many of the greatest circus performers have been wild animal trainers. Clyde Beatty and Gunther Gebel-Williams will certainly go down in history as two of the most famous. In 1921 Clyde Beatty ran away to join the circus when he […]

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  • 10 Jan
    2011

Ringling VIP Gifts Are Rare Circus Collectibles

Collectors of circus memorabilia are rarely able to enhance their personal collections with VIP gifts from The Greatest Show on Earth because so few are available. The Feld era of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey began in 1967 when Irvin Feld and his brother Israel Feld bought the total assets of the show from […]

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  • 28 Dec
    2010

Some Circus Animals Are the Stars of the Show

“. . .There they go, the pride of the circus. There they go, our animal stars. Give a hand to these handsome creatures. They are the big top’s finest features. Those fabulous animals. Those glorious animals. Those fabulous animals. Our greatest stars.” — Excerpt from “Those Fabulous Animals,” the theme song of a Ringling Bros. […]

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  • 7 Dec
    2010

Collect a Virtual Library of Circus Books from the Internet for Free

Circus books are an important part of any circus memorabilia collection. A previous article (Circus Books: Building a Solid Foundation for Collecting) was all about that topic. Modern technology has given us a whole new way to look at books. For about a year now, I have been investigating the various e-book readers that are […]

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  • 30 Nov
    2010

Collecting the Business behind Circus Show Business

‘The Circus is the only ageless delight that you can buy for money. Everything else is supposed to be bad for you. But the Circus is good for you. It is the only spectacle I know that, while you watch it, gives the quality of a truly happy dream.’ — Ernest Hemingway Hemingway penned those […]

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  • 8 Nov
    2010

Elephants’ Hidden Artistic Talents: Paintings Created By Elephants

Have you ever seen an elephant painting? No, not a painting of an elephant. There are scores of those. What I’m talking about is a painting, actually painted by an elephant. Yes, among their various talents, elephants do paint. In fact there’s an entire book on this subject, titled “When Elephants Paint,” written by Vitaly […]

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  • 26 Oct
    2010

A Circus Isn’t a Circus Unless It Has a Band: Collecting Circus Music

“A circus isn’t a circus unless it has a band.” So said Merle Evans in his biography written by Gene Plowden. Of course, Evans would think that. For 50 years he was bandmaster for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Likewise, a good circus collection isn’t complete unless it contains music and music-related memorabilia. […]

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  • 5 Oct
    2010

Magazines with An Emphasis On Circus Are Inexpensive Collectibles

Magazines often publish circus stories, along with colorful photos and graphics. In a previous article I wrote for WorthPoint (Magazine Articles Chronicle Circus Life of Yesterday and Today), I wrote of the popularity of the circus as a subject for magazine articles. Most of the information for that story came from a Circus Magazine Article […]

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