Like Everything in History Sideshows
everything else in history sideshows have evolved. Remember that P T Barnum
his oddity attractions (Joice Heth) and then Signor Vivaldi (Juggler) and later
Eng and Chang (Siamese twins) and Tom Thumb. In hotel "parlor rooms" and
music halls, which were the saloons of the day. So, bar shows with sideshow
attractions are not new, just re-invented.
a segment of the vast American population, who usually would not encounter a ten
in one (performing) sideshow at a fair. Sixty five to seventy years ago there
were about I04 ten in one sideshows in the U S. Every circus and carnival
(except carnival picnic units owned a sideshow of their own, while the largest
carnivals could attract about twenty independently owned sideshows.
"sideshows" ie; a tented show with a line of ten or more banners presenting
human freaks and novelty acts.
time on large carnivals the industry could count about twenty (all but 2) owned
by the carnivals big musical revues with live orchestra, a line of chorus girls,
singers, novelty acts. The large shows would have 30 to 40 performers all white
people. They were not referred to as sideshows. They were "Girl Shows" the same
big carnivals would also have a carnival owned similar show with all black
people. Most had a larger cast than the white shows. These revues were
financially subsidized by the carnival companies the black show was referred to
as "Jig Shows" not a sideshow.
same time era there were over 400 dancing girl "cooch" shows. Then there were
"trained Monkey shows" and "monkey speedways' and monkey motordromes" all shows
that took from 50 to 25 foot for their spread.
so many shows "Wild West, Hawaiian, South American Rhumba, Illusion 10 in ones,
magic shows, Water shows with synchronized girl swimmers and high divers etc;
altogether about five hundred assorted shows presented on carnivals. Plus over
1000 Single-O shows (a single attraction such as fat girl or a freak animal or
human alive) AND THEN THERE WERE THE GRIND SHOWS, OF WHICH THERE ARE STILL ABOUT
ten in one show
with freaks and working acts were and are SIDE SHOWS.
who talked in front of Single-O or Grind Shows are "GRINDERS".
shows had Talkers.
same era there were about 40 tented circuses in America big and small, all of
who had a sideshow which on the circus may be referred to as KID SHOW, because
the main circus performance was the BIG show.
interested in the rise and decline of carnival shows should read
Pictorial History Of The American Carnival" by Joe Mc Kennon.
several history books on individual carnivals by Bob Golsack, Greenhills Books,
Randolph Center Vermont.
conclusion Hall and Christ don't operate a true "Sideshow" It is a combination
of ten in one illusion show, sideshow, and oddity museum.
one: Stay well and remember the magic words: Make money.