August 4, 2012

Incredible Vintage Color Photographs of the American Circus From the 1940s and 1950s

During its heyday, the American circus was the largest show-biz industry the world had ever seen. From the mid-1800s to mid-1900s, traveling American circuses performed for audiences of up to 14,000 per show and crisscrossed the country on 20,000 miles of railroad in one season alone. The spectacle of death-defying daredevils and strapping super-heroes gripped the American imagination, outshining theater, comedy, and minstrel shows of the day, and ultimately paving the way for film and television. The circus offered young Americans the dream of adventure and reinvention.

Below are some of extraordinary photos, many of the earliest color photographs ever taken of the circus from the 1940s and 1950s.


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