Snap Wyatt & His Freak Figures

 

The freak figures made by Snap Wyatt at his shop (see below) which set back off highway 41 a little South of 22 Ave (now Causeway Blvd) When 41 was widened to its present size the building was closer to the highway and is now a place that fabricates children's swing sets etc. He made those figures for Joe Sciortino, who was mainly a Big-Time Girl Show operated with several units working. He had beautiful fronts. He was a great builder. In I955 Snap made the figures for Joe who in I956 built what appeared to be a big ten in one, but without live acts.

 

It was titled "Barnums Museum with a great door banner with Barnum's portrait. Stuart Mill was the inside lecturer and tried to do a magic package pitch. The show played some big spots including Detroit Mich which was second or third biggest fair at that time. This was probably the first big sideshow museum, and the public was used to seeing real freaks.

 

When they got in there and realized what it was, the show got a lot of heat. I believe he only
operated it that year. The next season he built a big sit down jig show, with a big route but Joe wasn't happy with it so then he only operated girl shows.


In the winter he started renting out his tents and a few years later went into tent rental full time going all over the country with "Tapa Tent Rental".  After Joe died his son Tommy in time' turned it into a tent manufacturing co.


Tommy is a good friend.. His: "Amusement Canvas Outfitters" makes the finest of tents. Joe sold the museum show to "Dude" Steinmetz, who operated ten in one for many years. I don't know if he ever used the Snap Wyatt figures. He sold them to Harvey Boswell. He had them for quite a while and sold them to Hall and Christ for a permanent oddities museum on the boardwalk at Seaside Heights N J where we already had an eighty five figure celebrity museum "20th Century Wax". When the city put a street through and we lost both of our
buildings, Chris took the huge "Gay New Orleans" jig show front that was built for Goodings Million Dollar Midways by Teo Zachinni in I956. They discontinued the show in early 70s, when we bought it to have a different look Chris designed the front with a bright red background, with the montage of attractions. We had it in Dallas in I think I was I974 and it was always a big winner.


Henry Valentine managed it for some years and our last season with it was I987 when we sold it to Henry Valentine. I'm not sure but Henry my have taken it out of that big semi and reframe it in a tow trailer. I don't know the year but Henry sold the show with the original six or was it eight Snap Wyatt figures to John Strong.

 

In I967 Hall and Christ bought the sideshow frame up from Steinmetz with a non interest loan from Milt Kaufman and Hal Eifort who booked us on their Goodings Million Dollar Midways, which at that time had the strongest route in the U S. We were there for about ten years.

 

Cordially, Ward Hall



 

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