Monday, September 12, 2016

Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus 1951 Route book

Went to Canton recently for the First Monday Flea Market.  Setting on a shelf was this little green book titled  Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus  1951 Route Book.  They gave me the book for $4. 
Now I know this book has a limited appeal.    The history inside is fascinating to me.    
It is 4" by 5 3/4".    First of all, I couldn't believe this type of information was actually published in 1951.  The question is whether it was published every year and this year too.
Here is what the book has in it -- sorta by the page numbers:
inside cover:  it says route, Personnel and statistics for the Season of 1951 together with complete itineraries from 1919 to 1951 inclusive, covering every exhibition date since the famous Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey circuses were united.    Price $1.25,
RBros &BB, Sarasota, Fla.
4.  A photo of John Ringling North   President
5 => 8.   A story by Roland Butler titled THE Circus.   Inside of the story he quotes an entire newspaper column by Bill Moiles who wrote a column in the Worcester, Mass. Daily
Telegram.  It was an interesting strange 4 page story about the circus.  I found it fun.  No, I will not reprint it here - I'm not that bored yet.

9.  A list of the Circus' Officers, al list of the Directors, and a list of the Executive Staff including all secretaries. You may find it interestin (I did) to know the names of the Directors, who, I might add, are mostly found under the Officer listing too.  
Directors:  John Ringling North, Edith C. Ringling, Henry Ringling North, George D. Woods,
Herbert Duval, Mrs. Robert Ringling, & William P Dunn.
10.  A photo of a clown then a list of members of the accounting office, Sarasota, Florida.  Then,  the members of the NY Office  and the Chicao Office.
11.  all members of the pdfublicity dept, press - photography  - radio and TV  plus members of the contracting, outdoor advertising and traffic depts.
By this time you should be getting the idea.  The book lists every person who works for the company - everybody.  Examples:  Lot super,  24-hour men - time keepeers, police dept.   ticket dept including the names of the ticket sellers and ticket takers.
14. a photo of Arthur M. Concello and Cecil B. De Mille
Strarting on page 15, the names of all performers listed under the names of their acts.
17.   THIS IS ESPECIALLY INTERESTING TO ME:  a photo of  the Big top Directors -- angelo Nicholas equestrian director, and MERLE EVENS, musical director of the Greatest show on earth.
           The names of the entire band are  included by instrument.  1 flute/piccolo, 5 clarinets, 2 Organ, 6 "cornets", 3 horns, 2 Baritones, 4 Trombones, 3 Basses, and 2 Drummers.    In the basses was Harvey G. Phillips.    Fun.
18.  A list of all people in the Side Show.  I will list those at another time - need to move on now.

skipping forward.   20 people listed under the Elephant Department -- 3 under the Gorilla department --  
I thought when I began this missive, that I could list all the different groups - but, frankly, it is getting to be too much typing.
I'll try to do more later.
32.  the entire show is given in 3 pages - listing names of the acts.  That is fun to read.
35.   starts the list of where the circus will play.  this list gives the date, city, state, RAILROAD  and miles to travel   They started in NY City and ended in Sarasota, Fla.
   Sept. 25th was in Lubbock - road the Sante Fe to Amarillo for Sept 26th.
skipping ahead:
the book lists EVERY route of the circus  starting in 1919  and ending in 1951.  They leave no fact unturned.  Since I live in Corsicana, I found it interesting that the circus performed here in 1919  on October 9th.   They came here for many years to follow.  A local legend talks about an elephant that broke loose in town and had to be killed. 
so I will close.   This book is so loaded with information.  I cannot recite it all.  If you love the circus, go look on ebay - maybe there is another copy of the book floating around.