1933 Plans & Letters
to Build Miniature Circus Railroad Cars
Little Wonder Shows
Dear old friend:
Dec. 8th 1933
I received your nice
letter and enclosed items afew weeks ago and thanks very much for
the same. Sure will be glad to get that M.-W. program too,
if can spare it.
I am including several
views of my show, one of which was taken last July. Some of
the smaller xxx tops are not on the pictures due to the fact that
a strong wind damaged them earlier that day and I had to tear them
down in order to prevent further damage. Hope you'll like
the just the same. Notice my bandwagon, the one I
modeled after the real Barnum&Bailey Hemisphere bandwagon.
It is entirely hand carved and is about eighteen to twenty inches
in length over the pole, and stands about ten inches high and six
inches wide. Contains everything a real wagon has.
Just took my time about brakes, steel springs, drag shoes, ect.
The pole and pin fits in perfectly. My two hemispheres are
rounded out perfectly and the maps were some job, let me tell you.
Wish you could see it here, instead of in the picture, as they do
not bring out the real effects truly. In all I worked about
two straight months in spare time on it. There is no scroll
work or adding of pieces with glue, but is strictly carving,
straight from solid pieces of wood. Compare this wagon with
pictures of wagons which are on other photos I sent you from years
back. Not the great improvement in the entire layout.
Gee, I can just see the way my first wagons were built. - no
real effective looking axels, crooked wheels, bad painting, ect.,
ect. Now, everyone of my wagons has either a big improvement
or it isn't added to the regular wagon line, until its rebuilt.
Well, for a new
feature this time, I am building a miniature railroad. Got
the idea from a friend of mine out west who is just beginning a
miniature railroad for his show too. My cars will be built
to scale, that is, each car will be 3 feet long 1/2 in. equals one
foot. A circus railway car is 72 feet long hence a 36 inch
car in miniature. Will let you know how I come out in this
project from time to time. Say, Pal, what do you know about
the old time "Privilege car"? Do they still use them?
admission prices of the Eastern States circus. They were
10c, 25c and 50. Show had very good business, and played
here over a week.
Say, what's this I
hear about Mr. Ringling? Did he really sign over his
circuses to that New Yorker? well, John, all I can say, that
when a showman signs over his property to one of those fellows,
sure as I live, worse is sure to follow mark my words.
Will close now and
will be glad to hear from you and give comments on the new
bandwagon. The cage to the left of the picture contains four
bears, three cubs and mother. The giraffe in the center was
presented to me by Mr. Shepard of Wheaton Ill. write soon.
Don't forget the H.-W program, if I don't get to write to you
again before Christmas, here's a hoping you have a very Merry
Christmas and a Happy Prosperous, New Year.
I wonder if you
could do me a favor before the big show closes this season.
Evidently you will consider me pretty ignorant, considering the
number of years I have spent in following the white tops. For
the past few days I have been trying to study the under carriage
of circus wagons from the photos I have, and I wonder if you
could supply me with a diagram of any tub or cage wagon on the
show. I'm trying to build (Wagon-model) a lamp from a snap
taken of the Christy air calliope here in 1924. Would
appreciate it if you could draw as a diagram of the arrangement
of springs, etc. used, also the braking arrangement using
a wheel not the foot brakes.
Just received a
letter from Sill, in which he tells of your promotion.
Congrats! Give my
best to Saul, and will be glad to see you boys if you can
arrange to "make" this town after the show closes. Have
you can help me out with the info I need, will appreciate it.
Drop me a line when you find time.
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