Barnum Bailey Circus Farewell Tour
1882 Barnum & Bailey Circus Farewell TourThe P.T. Barnum Greatest Show on Earth and the Cooper and Bailey Circus were separate and competing circuses until 1881, when James L. Hutchinson, a circus concessionaire known to both, managed to engineer a combination. For his part he was given a share of the new circus and, for a brief while, his cameo was included in these early, rare posters. Circuses proudly boasted of their numbers, whether personnel, animals or monetary. And this poster for the July 14th appearance in Portland, Maine, is no exception. 3 rings, 2 menagerie tents, 9 united monster shows, 640 men and a whopping $6,800 in daily expenses, which makes for a believable argument that the show was Bigger, Grander, Greater Than Ever Before! The featured attraction of this poster is a supple aerialist named Mademoiselle Zoe, Queen of the Air, but Jumbo and the Dog-Faced Boy get billing as well. The Farewell Tour mentioned on the date tag is in reference to a European tour of the following year which never actually came off.