Back in the 1940’s out in the Wild West, the hometown touring circus was vastly different to the manicure large scale productions of Cirque du Soleil that crowds experience today.
In fact during the 1940’s and 50’s being an entertainer on a traveling circus created various levels of hardship, from a lack of safety to “the show must go on” if you were sick or injured. During that time countless photographers like Frederick Whitman Glasier, Edward Kelty, Mathew Brady, Cornell Capa, Charles and Ray Eames, and even Stanley Kubrick – routinely captured both the feats of wonder on display, but also the true lives of the performers.
Some of these interestingly enough, were also amongst the first colour photos ever taken on circus’s during that time. They’re now all documented and included in a fantastic hardback called The Circus Book: 1870-1950 which we highly recommended you buy, especially if you enjoy a few of these sample shots below.