Visit the Circus Historical Society website at

Mighty Haag Steam Calliope

Mighty Haag Steam Calliope

by Joseph Bradbury

(1) Photo No. 3 shows another steam calliope wagon built by Sullivan & Eagle about 1900 for the Pawnee Bill Wild West Show. Note it’s similarity to the others, with the principal difference being the huge carved horse, presumably carrying out the wild west theme again. It was on the Pawnee Bill show from about 1900 through the 1907 season. Pawnee Bill did not go out in 1908 and sold off it’s equipment, the most of it going to Ernest Haag and Campbell Bros.

Mighty Haag Steam Calliope( 1909 – Nellie King Oram, player – Bandwagon, ┬áVol. 4, No. 6 (Nov-Dec), 1960 )

Ernest Haag who had operated a wagon circus for some years got the steam calliope along with other railroad show equipment from Pawnee Bill. In 1909 Haag put out a railroad show titled the Mighty Haag Show. It was a medium sized show and lasted for six seasons 1909-14. Following the 1914 season Haag decided to dispose of his railroad show and to return to the mud show field, which he did the next year. Haag sold the railroad show wagons and equipment, all except the huge heavily carved Columbus-John Smith Bandwagon which he kept until 1925, to the Worthem & Allen Carnival firm. This firm operated several carnivals, the Great Worthem Shows, Worthem & Allen, Tom Allen Shows etc. and used parade equipment quite extensively as did many carnivals of that period. In 1915 the steam calliope was on the Tom Allen Shows. Here the trail of the steamer becomes lost. The only assumption we can then make is that it served out it’s days doing bally work for the Worthem & Allen carnivals. This carnival outfit finally became the Beckman & Gerety Shows which lasted into the 1940’s. The final disposition of the calliope is clouded in obscurity.

(1) Excerpts from the Circus Wagon History File, Bandwagon, Vol. 4, No. 6 (Nov-Dec), 1960, pp. 3-5

If you have any questions or have more photographic evidence, feel free to contact us at