The elephants plod along Pulaski
highway on their last march to Baltimore's circus lot.
That was in Herring run Park the last several years.
Baltimore's Last Circus
Ringling's Announcing That It Is Quitting The Road,
Some Pictures Made On Its Spring Visit Here
is the way it was, from dawn through sunup and on into the
morning last May 22, when the Ringling Brothers and Barnum &
Bailey Circus - the Greatest show on Earth - came to Baltimore.
trains, totaling 80 cars, were bringing it in to a siding on
North Haven street, the closest one to the lot at Herring Run
park and Pulaski highway.
was having the show's first outdoor performance of the season,
after opening stands at New York and Boston indoor arenas. the
circus, therefore was assembling from two directions - the
troupers and some of the hands from Boston; the big top, the 40
smaller tents, and the other outdoor equipment and crew from
winter quarters in Sarasota, Fla.
before dawn the most rabid fans were at the Haven street siding
to see the arrival and unloading, and as day broke and the hour
became steadily a bit more civilized these were joined by
others: boys on bicycles, truck drivers, mothers with baby
carriages, old men a small police detail.
the 31 cars of the Flying Squadron came in. They were
loaded with red and green vans, yellow tractors, odd-looking
machinery. With horses that were tended by young men
wearing sideburns, green shirts and cowboy hats and boots.
With elephants that were slowly and patiently formed into a
procession which then shuffled off down Haven street and north
on the highway to the lot.
roustabouts were already running around. The cook tent was
on its way up; soon a hot meal of pork chops would be ready for
the first of the 1,800 employees. Stake-driving machines -
miniature pile drivers - were pounding in stakes for the big
top. Trucks and vans continued to stream into the lot.
Men worked at spreading out the blue big top.
hauled up tent poles. Men wrestled with canvas for the
sideshow tent, driving its stakes by hand. The boss canvas
muss, buss, shape break, run along!" the roustabouts chanted as
they yanked at the canvas. Soon the tent was up, soon the
tangle of ropes was secured.
The Sunday Sun
Magazine - Metrogravure - Baltimore MD, August 5th
1956-----(Submitted by PK & AK Kolozsy)
Photograph by A.
1-Setting up the
Big Top, Parade, Ringling Sign
2-Men unloading the
Red and Green Wagons
see elephants coming of train
4-Rasing the Big
Top, roustabouts spread 76,000 yards of canvas and 9 miles of
rope to rig the show.
buss, shape, break, run along!" was the traditional chant of the
roustabouts as they hauled on the ropes
and hoisted the
6-This machine and
another like it drove the stakes fro the tent. Not how the
side poles have been laid out.
were helped at their tent-raising by the tractor, fitted with a
frame that pushed the Big Top's canvas up from inside.
8-A close-up of the
tent spreaders at work. All of the canvas used was flame
proofed, and all was new at the commencement of every season.
Back to the
Good Old Days
Back to Main