Ringling Bros. World’s Greatest Shows


This colorful lithograph advertising the Ringling Bros. Circus was printed by the Strobridge Lithographing Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, and New York, a significant producer of circus posters. The poster depicts the immense size of a large American circus in the early part of the 20th century and is an example of the colorful, eye-catching advertisements commonly used by circuses to attract crowds. The texts at the bottom proclaim “A Magic Moving City of Tents, The Home of Many Marvels, Largest Show Ever Perfected. A Really Great World’s Exposition,” and, in larger green letters, “It’s [sic] Daily Erection and Transportation An Example of Perfect Organization and System. One of the Wonders of the Modern World.” Statements such as these reflect the degree to which the circus itself—its size, mobility, and organization—was as much an attraction to spectators as the scheduled performances.

Last updated: March 21, 2014