Centenary for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus

100 years ago the seven Ringling Brothers paid $400,000 to buy out their chief competitor, the Barnum and Bailey Circus. The savvy Ringling boys knew how much the public loved each of the individual shows and so, for twelve years they maintained the separate organizations and ran two separate circus companies. It was only during WWI, when money was tight that the two companies physically merged to form a single “Greatest Show on Earth.”

The William Seymour Theatre Collection, which is housed chiefly in the Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library, encompasses over one hundred collections relating to the performing arts, including theater, dance, film, circus, and other popular forms of entertainment. One of the most colorful of the collections is TC093: Circus Posters. To view the complete collection, see: http://libweb5.princeton.edu/visual_materials/Circus/TC093.html