Bring back some good or bad memories


April 22, 2015

23 Classic Portraits of Circus Performers From the Early 1910s

These extraordinary classic photos were taken by Herbert Cooper, who arrived in Strabane, County Tyrone in Ireland just before the outbreak of the First World War. He took over the photographic studio in Railway Street which had been run by J. Burroughs from about 1901 until 1913.

Anneford’s Canadian Circus, two children called Lola and May, c.1910

Duffy’s Circus, two women and three children, c.1911

Duffy’s Circus, the Wilson and Duffy combined circus. Picture of all the members, c.1911

Buff Bill’s Circus, a group of circus performers, c.1910

Hanneford’s Canadian Circus, four girl circus performers, c.1910

Duffy’s Circus, four girls outside a tent, c.1911

Duffy’s Circus, four male entertainers, c.1911

Duffy’s Circus, three men and two dogs, c.1911

Duffy’s Circus, man standing in front of a wagon labelled ‘Duffy’s Circus’, c.1911

Two circus performers in front of a wagon, c.1910

A crowd of people round a clown and a donkey, c.1910

A circus performer in front of a wagon, c.1910

Duffy’s Circus, a group of circus entertainers, c.1911

Duffy’s Circus, ‘Funny George’, the Clown, c.1911

Buff Bill’s Circus, a child with a baboon on a donkey, c.1910

Lady on a horse, with a clown watching, c.1910

Clown on a horse, with a lady watching, c.1910

Hanneford’s Canadian Circus, circus performers in a horse and cart, c.1911

Buff Bill’s Circus, two children and a man sitting on the steps of a caravan, c.1910

Scott’s Circus – A Clown

Hanneford’s Canadian Circus, a clown, c.1910

Buff Bill’s Circus, The Dixie Girls, c.1910

Buff Bill’s Circus, group of circus performers standing on each other’s shoulders, c.1910

(Photos: the Cooper Collection at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, via Flashbak)


  1. Lynn Hontz ScherzingerApril 22, 2015 at 4:45 AM

    I don't know whether its because these are from small circuses, or the fact that they are from 1910, or the fact that they are Canadian, but NO ONE looked happy to be there. If these pics were used to advertise, something tells me they didn't get a lot of "return on investment".

  2. Lynn Hontz ScherzingerApril 22, 2015 at 4:47 AM

    Oh, and "Funny George"? You mean they have a "Not so Funny George"? Bet he's a hoot and a half.

  3. thx you so much for the fotos

  4. ThAT'S "Buffalo Bill's" western circus during it's tour of Europe. You can see him in the photo of the tumblers lined up in front of him as he stands on the Buckboard. There are several photos of Bill at that (advanced) age so it's easy to identify.




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