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Sparks Clown Bandwagon

Sparks Circus Horse and Jockey Bandwagon

by Joseph Bradbury

(1) The wagon with carvings featuring a horse’s head and jockey was built by Moeller Brothers in Baraboo about the same time as was the air calliope. My records list 1922 as the first year for the wagon on the Sparks show.

Sparks Circus Clown Bandwagon( 1921 – Joseph Bradbury Album # 38 – photo # 33A – in front of Moeller Building, newly built #18 Clown Bandwagon – Chappie Fox collection )

It was used in parades as the clown bandwagon on through the 1929 season. ( Photographs dated 1925 show the wagon is still in the original configuration but by 1927, the wagon has been re=painted a different color. )

Sparks Circus Clown Bandwagon( 1927 – Joseph Bradbury Album # 38 – photo # 61A – Horse and Jockey Clown bandwagon )

As previously stated although street parades were discontinued in 1930 the wagon was carried on the show being used to carry various properties. Unfortunately, the carvings were rapidly disappearing from the sides.

Sparks Circus Clown Bandwagon( 1930 – Joseph Bradbury Album # 38 – photo # 57B – Maurice Allaire photo )

Following the 1930 season when the show was cut down in size the wagon was stored in Sarasota. It was included of course in the wagon burnings about 1938.

(1) Excerpts from the Circus Wagon History File, Bandwagon, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Mar-Apr), 1960, pp. 20-21.

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