Barnum & Bailey’s Asia Tableau
( 1903 – Conover set # 704 – photo # BB24 )
The America Tableau was built by the Sebastian Wagon Co. of New York in the year of 1902. The order was placed on January 14, 1902 (1) while the Barnum & Bailey Circus was still in Europe in anticipation of their return to the US for the 1903 season. It was used by the Barnum and Bailey Circus during the 1903 and 1904 seasons. With the death of James A. Bailey on April 11, 1906, the Barnum & Bailey Circus was eventually sold to the Ringling Bros. in 1907. This created a change of ownership of this wagon even though it still toured on the Barnum & Bailey Circus. It is presumed that this wagon was built up into the current box type tableau in 1917 when the America Tableau was built up. When the Ringling Bros. World’s greatest Shows combined with the Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1919, this wagon was left in winter quarters. it remained there until 1925, when it was sold to George Christy.
( 1925 – Joseph Bradbury Album # 6 – photo # 81A – Christy Bros. Circus, Aug. 31, 1925 in Franklin, PA. – P.M. McClintock collection )
The wagon toured with the Christy Bros. Circus through the 1930 season. From 1931 through 1934, it sat in the fields of the Christy Bros. winter quarters in S. Houston, Texas. In 1934, the wagon was one of many that were sold to Zach Terrell and Jess Adkins that were building their all new Cole Bros. Circus.
( 1935 – Conover set # 468 – photo # 4506 )
The wagon was used on the Cole Bros. Circus during the 1935 and continued to be used through their 1938 season.
( 1939 – Joseph Bradbury Album # 37 – photo # 88B – Rochester, IN. WQ )
They never used it after that. It remained in the Rochester winter quarters in 1939 and 1940.
( 1946 – Conover set # 899 – photo # 7205 )
After the terrible Rochester winter quarters fire on February 2, 1940, this wagon was moved with everything else to the Louisville, Ky. Fairgrounds. It stayed there from 1940 through 1946. it was then sold to the Block and Kuhl Department store.
( 1946 – Joseph Bradbury Album # 15 – photo # 48B – in Peoria, IL. )
The Block and Kuhl Department Store, which later became Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. used the wagon in various parades and for publicity purposes. They eventually gave the wagon to the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin in 1961. The wagon was restored as it looked on the Cole Bros. Circus. The dimensions are recorded as Length 21’, Height, 10’11”, Width 8’2”, Weight 5 tons.
The wagon can be seen in person at Circus World in Baraboo, Wisconsin
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