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Russell Bros. Circus, 1932
This photograph is an aerial view of the circus lot of the Russell Bros. Circus at Janesville, Wisconsin, in 1932. The availability of trucks following World War I led to a rapid growth of the trucking industry in the United States. Circuses quickly adapted to the new technology by creating "truck shows" or circuses that traveled overland via truck. Truck shows brought the circus to smaller towns across the country previously inaccessible by rail. This image shows a typical medium-sized truck show of the mid-20th century. The sideshow tent and ...
Contributed by Circus World Museum
Two Women on Water Skis Wearing Tutus and White Gloves
Dick and Julie Pope founded Cypress Gardens in 1936, one of the many roadside attractions that began to line the highways of Florida and other U.S. states in the 1920s. Located between Orlando and Tampa in Winter Haven, the lush botanical gardens attracted tourists driving south through central Florida on U.S. Highway 27, known as the Orange Blossom Trail. During the early 1940s, Pope hired women to walk around the park wearing antebellum-style dresses. He introduced water-skiing shows during World War II to entertain soldiers who visited the ...
African American Man Wrestling an Alligator at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
One of the symbols of the state of Florida in the popular imagination is the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). From the earliest European explorers to the present day, visitors have been fascinated by this cold-blooded freshwater reptile. With a name derived from the Spanish word lagarto (the lizard), alligators can grow to an average of 13–15 feet (4–4.6 meters) and weigh 500–1,000 pounds (227–453 kilograms). The alligator used to be prized for its meat and skin, was once hunted and harvested to near extinction ...