Friday, January 11, 2013

Circuses & Bicycles 1900

Someone at work knows I am interested in historical images of cycling so she emailed me a link the this image in the National Library of Ireland's Flickr area.

Photo from the National Library of Ireland

Title - Mr Minton ? & Mr Lloyds, Circus on spiral rail, circa 1900
Main Author - A. H. Poole Studio Photographer
In Collections - The Poole Photographic Collection
The National Library of Ireland

I have to say, this is not exactly the most impressive feat involving a bicycle, but for a small circus . . . in fact, it would seem like setting up that spiral would have been a lot of work, so one guesses that they did something with it beside have this guy ride the bike up it. And what happens at the top, anyway?

A Library of Congress search for "bicycle" and "circus" brings up mostly posters.

Cropped and rotated image of 1900 circus poster from Library of Congress online presentation

Title: The Adam Forepaugh and Sells Brothers, America's greatest shows consolidated--The miraculous Melrosas
Date Created/Published: Buffalo, N[ew] Y[ork] : Courier Company Lith. Dept., c1900.
Medium: 1 print (poster) : chromolithograph ; 71 x 105 cm.
Summary: Poster showing circus performers riding bicycles on tightropes.
Reproduction Number: LC-USZC4-10501 (color film copy transparency)

Most (if not all) of the LC digitized circus posters are like this one, taken from a color negative that was produced before digitization from the original was more commonplace. I rotated the image (deskewed) and took out the color bars. The LC version is here.

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