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"The greatest show on earth" now in London / Ehrhart.

"The greatest show on earth" now in London / Ehrhart.

description

Summary

Illustration shows the procession for the coronation of Edward VII, King of Great Britain; many of those participating in the pageantry are wearing medieval costume.
Title from item.
Caption: Barnum was not the only man who knew that the public likes to be humbugged.
Illus. in: Puck, v. 51, no. 1321 (1902 June 25), centerfold.
Copyright 1902 by Keppler & Schwarzmann.

Westminster Abbey is a gothic abbey church just to the west of the Palace of Westminster, London. It is a traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. A first church was founded at the site in the 7th century, at the time of Mellitus, a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church began in 1245, on the orders of King Henry III. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey nor a cathedral, but a Church's of England "Royal Peculiar"—a church responsible directly to the sovereign. Since the coronations in 1066 of both King Harold and William the Conqueror, every English and British monarch, with the exceptions of Edward V and Edward VIII, have been crowned in Westminster Abbey. There have been at least 16 royal weddings at the abbey since 1100.

Westminster Hall, erected in 1097 is the oldest existing part of the Palace of Westminster. When built, it was the largest hall in Europe. The roof was probably originally supported by pillars, giving three aisles. A new roof rebuilding had been begun by King Henry III in 1245 and took a century to build. The "the greatest creation of medieval timber architecture", allowed the original three aisles to be replaced with a single huge open space in 1393. Westminster Hall has the largest clearspan medieval roof in England, measuring 20.7 by 73.2 meters (68 by 240 ft). Oak timbers for the roof came from royal woods in Hampshire and from parks in Hertfordshire and from that of William Crozier of Stoke D'Abernon, who supplied over 600 oaks in Surrey, among other sources; they were assembled near Farnham, Surrey, 35 miles away. Accounts record the large number of wagons and barges which delivered the jointed timbers to Westminster for assembly. Westminster Hall has served numerous functions. It was primarily used for judicial purposes, housing three of the most important courts in the land: the Court of King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas and the Court of Chancery. Westminster Hall has also served ceremonial functions. From the twelfth century to the nineteenth, coronation banquets honoring new monarchs were held here.

Victorian Times London. Victoria was born May 24, 1819, Kensington Palace, London, United Kingdom, and was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death, January 22, 1901,

Hachaliah Bailey established one of the earliest circuses in the United States around 1806. Barnum, who as a boy had worked as a ticket seller for Hachaliah Bailey's show, had run the Barnum's American Museum from New York City since 1841. Barnum brought in to the museum animals to add zoo-like elements, and a freak show and took the Museum on road tours, named "P.T. Barnum's Grand Traveling American Museum". The latter show was named "P.T. Barnum's Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Hippodrome". The show combined elements of museum, menagerie, variety performance, concert hall, and circus", and considered it to potentially be "the Greatest Show on Earth", which subsequently became part of the circus's name. In the 1860s, The Cooper and Bailey Circus became the chief competitor to Barnum's circus. The two groups agreed to combine their shows in 1881 under name "P.T. Barnum's Greatest Show On Earth, And The Great London Circus, Sanger's Royal British Menagerie and The Grand International Allied Shows United", it was eventually shortened to "Barnum and Bailey's Circus". Bailey acquired Jumbo, advertised as the world's largest elephant, for the show that was touring the eastern United States and Europe. European tour started on December 27, 1897, and lasted until 1902 while dozens of small circuses toured the Midwest and the Northeast. Ringling brothers circus was one of them, it rapidly grew and soon started to move by train, becoming the largest traveling amusement enterprise of that time. Bailey's European tour gave the Ringling brothers an opportunity to move their show from the Midwest to the eastern seaboard. After Bailey died, the circus was sold to the Ringling Brothers in 1907. On March 29, 1919, "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows" debuted in New York City. The posters declared, "The Ringling Bros. World's Greatest Shows and the Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth are now combined into one record-breaking giant of all exhibitions." The circus flourished through the Roaring Twenties. The circus suffered during the 1930s due to the Great Depression, but managed to stay in business. During War, a special dispensation was given to the circus by President Roosevelt to use the rails to operate, in spite of travel restrictions imposed as a result of World War II. Many of the most famous images from the circus that were published in magazine and posters were captured by American Photographer Maxwell Frederic Coplan, who traveled the world with the circus. The Hartford circus fire occurred on July 6, 1944, in Hartford, Connecticut, during an afternoon performance that was attended by approximately 7,500 to 8,700 people. It was one of the worst fire disasters in the history of the United States. In the following investigation, it was discovered that the tent had not been fireproofed. Ringling Bros. had applied to the Army, which had an absolute priority on the material, for enough fireproofing liquid to treat their Big Top, but the Army had refused to release it to them. The post-war prosperity enjoyed by the rest of the nation was not shared by the circus as crowds dwindled and costs increased. Public tastes, influenced by the movies and television, abandoned the circus, which gave its last performance under the big top in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 16, 1956. In late 1967, Irvin Feld, Israel Feld, and Judge Roy Mark Hofheinz of Texas, together with backing from Richard C. Blum, the founder of Blum Capital, bought the company outright from North and the Ringling family interests for $8 million at a ceremony at Rome's Colosseum. The company was taken public in 1969. The circus's last performance was its "Out of This World" tour at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on May 21, 2017.

date_range

Date

01/01/1902
person

Contributors

Ehrhart, S. D. (Samuel D.), approximately 1862-1937, artist
create

Source

Library of Congress
copyright

Copyright info

No known restrictions on publication.