The Bloomington-Normal Circus Legacy: The Golden Age of Aerialists

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Starting in the 1870s, the barns, icehouses, gymnasiums and empty theaters of central Illinois provided the practice sites for aerial performers whose names still command reverence in the annals of American circus history. Meet Fred Miltimore and the Green Brothers, runaways from the Fourth Ward School who became the first Bloomington-born flyers. Watch Art Concello, a ten-year-old truant, become first a world-class flyer, then a famous trapeze impresario and finally Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus's most successful general manager. The entire art of the trapeze--instruction, training, performance and management--became a Bloomington-Normal industry during the tented shows' golden age, when finding a circus flying act without a connection to this area would have been virtually impossible.
ISBN: 9781609497101
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Illinois
Images: 63
Pages: 160
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Maureen Brunsdale is the Special Collections and Rare Books Librarian at Illinois State University, a member of the Circus Fans Association and a Board Member of the Circus Historical Society. Mark Schmitt is a lifelong native of Bloomington, Illinois, and a Senior Specialist in Special Collections and Rare Books at Illinois State University.
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