Off to join the circus: A history of the big top in photos – Elizabeth Pierson

Posted: June 30, 2015 by lambentI2e in Information
A crowd in front of the main entrance to the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus.

A crowd in front of the main entrance to the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus. (Photo credit : Owen Franken/Corbis)

When Philip Astley started the first circus in England in 1768, he used the ring to exhibit his horse tricks, with a few jugglers, acrobats and clowns on the side. Circuses grew from a small traveling show to a three ring affair in 1881, when P. T. Barnum debuted P.T. Barnum’s Museum, Menagerie & Circus, which featured many different acts and the world’s largest elephant. When Barnum died in 1906, the Ringling Brothers bought the Barnum & Bailey Circus and merged it with their own popular circus, which still tours today.

Though the circus has taken many different forms, the magic under the big top has delighted crowds has delighted for years.

Full article available here.

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