All big circuses in the first half of the 20th century carried a large menagerie of wild animals. This was a popular and highly educational feature. The attractive montage on this Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Baily circus poster of the 1920's indicates the vast and varied collection of animals that would be on display. Learn More
On this Barnum & Bailey circus poster, the press agents of 1905 called this thrill act 'a fearful frolic with fate'. Indeed, all acts of this type - whether the performers operated somersaulting autos, rode hurtling bicycles over enormous gaps, or were catapulted from a huge crossbow or shot out of a cannon - were truly daring and dangerous. Learn More
In 1909 Desperado made his terrific descent twice a day, and sometimes three times. The Strobridge artists captured all of the thrill of this unbelievable act on this beautiful Barnum & Bailey circus poster art. Learn More
Tiger acts have always been popular because of the enormous size of the animals and their startling beauty. The black leopard was added to the group for variety and perhaps for prestige. This old Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey circus poster dates to the 1920s, when there were some 50 men and women trainers presenting big-cat acts on 14 circuses. Learn More
In 1903 Barnum & Bailey presented an unusually lavish Spectacle of Balkis(the Arabic name of the biblical Queen of Sheba). At this period all the big railroad circuses staged these pantomine productions involving hundreds of beautifully wardrobed people, scores of horses and dozens of elephants, camels, zebras, and llamas. The subject might be Joan of Arc, Cinderella or Nero and the Burning of Rome. All these productions were part of the circus, presented in the big tent. Learn More
Although the daily street parade was in itself an advertisement that let the townspeople know for sure that it was circus day, the big shows used posters that advertised the advertisement! This Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth circus poster is from 1912. Learn More
Seven scenes of beautiful horses and handsomely attired performers, neatly put together on one 1906 poster by the Strobridge artists, tell the whole story at a glance. Part of the Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth. Learn More
The wreath effectively sets off the formal group portrait of the equestrian family, and the shield below adds impact to their names. The scenes of the family in action are so vivid that only 12 words are needed to describe the act. This is a Barnum & Bailey circus poster from 1909. Learn More
Barnum & Bailey played the entire season of 1902 in France. For this tour, posters like this Strobridge one were printed in America and shipped to the circus advertising department in France. Translation of the text: 'For the children: all kinds of tricks by trained animals. The largest and most wonderful entertainment organization in the world.' 1902 Barnum & Bailey Circus Poster in French. Learn More
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