In nineteenth-century America, the circus developed as one of the most popular forms of public entertainment. Exotic animals, spectacular equestrian acts, daring acrobats and trapeze artists, music, clowns, a parade through town, and a sideshow of strange animals and humans captured the American imaginations everywhere. The American circuses developed the use of the portable tent, the three rings (some circuses tried seven rings) and travel by train, which brought the fantastic show to every town and every wide-eyed kid. No wonder parents feared that their children would run off to join the circus. Circuses continued to grow in popularity and spectacle in the twentieth century; the largest, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, grew big enough to keeps two separate shows crisscrossing the country each year. Play sets of circus figures and structures allowed kids to imagine circus performances everyday--dreaming up their own spectacular acts and narrating their own stories of the greatest show on earth.
|Material||wood | paint | printed cardboard | paper|
|Credit Line||Gift of Amy Rosenfeld|
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