No. 444
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 21, 2019

Floating Circus.

Spaulding & Rogers’s Floating Circus Palace.
April 11, 2016
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Via historic-uk.com It is, of course, common knowledge that one of the precipitating factors of World War I was the murder of Franz Ferdinand and his wife. However, it is largely forgotten that another cold-blooded assassination very nearly sparked an armed conflict between America and Great Britain. This week, let us remember the Great Dead Pig War of 1859. The main stage for our
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Strange Company - 10/21/2019

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Lizzie’s Old School Chum, Augusta Poole (Mrs. Cyrus Tripp) Shelley M. Dziedzic, October 2019 (all rights reserved) During the hot …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 10/19/2019

George Grosz made a name for himself drawing and painting caricatures of life in his native Germany during the postwar Weimar era. But this Expressionist painter who helped lead the Dada movement left Germany in 1932 and relocated to New York City, turning his cynical eye on his adopted home city. “New York Harbor,” from […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/20/2019
Jeff and Joe Soapy Smith buries Joe Simmons The Illustrated Police News April 9, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oe Simmons was a tall, slender gambler known to many as “Gambler Joe” Simmons, a member of the Soap Gang who managed Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club in Denver, 1890, and Soapy's Orleans Club in Creede, 1892. According to William Devere’s poem "Two Little Busted Shoes," Simmons
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
In October 1893, 64-year-old Patrick Finney of New Bedford, Pennsylvania, was visiting his old friend and drinking buddy James Campbell in Hazelton, Ohio.  Campbell had been a saloonkeeper in Pittsburgh before retiring and moving with his wife to Hazelton, a suburb of Youngstown.  As was their custom, Finney and the Campbells were drinking heavily the night of October 9. James Campbell had a
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/19/2019

Dictator Muammar Gaddafi (several alternate transliterations are familiar, such as Qaddafi and Gadhafi) was killed by his captors during the Libyan civil war on this date in 2011 — an act very much on the extrajudicial and summary side of the foggy borderlands defining an “execution”. Libya’s ruler since deposing the British-supported King Idris way […]
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Executed Today - 10/20/2019
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Gambler Vs. Cook. | Killed by a Baseball.

Floating Circus.

Floating Circus

The pictures which we give herewith is an accurate representation of what is called the Floating Palace, as it lately appeared at Mobile, Ala. It was built for the purpose of equestrian exhibitions, and it has been improved at the Levee in New Orleans, and at various places on the Mississippi River, during some length of time.

It was rather a novel idea to construct a curious ship—a regular moveable theatre; but it is said to have succeeded far beyond the expectations of its owners. It is not a sham built affair, but it is really very finely fitted, and perfect in every respect. The interior is a most commodious amphitheatre.

The “dress-circle,” as it is termed, consists of eleven hundred cane bottom arm-chairs, each numbered to correspond with the ticket issued.

The “family-circle,” comprises cushioned settees for some five hundred persons, while the residue of the accommodations are comprised in nine hundred gallery seats. The amphitheatre is warmed by means of hot water pipes or steam, and altogether it is an exceedingly comfortable and pleasurable exhibition-room. The interior is lighted bye over a hundred brilliant gas jets, forming a great ornament in their construction, and supplied by a gas apparatus on board—this furnishes the entire light for the vestibule, the halls, offices, saloons, green rooms, dressing-rooms and the stable. A chime of bells is attached to the structure, and discourses most eloquent music previous to each performance, while Drummond-lights render the neighborhood of the floating palace brilliant during the exhibition. Every deception to delude the visitor into the idea that he is in a spacious theatre in shore is used, and it is difficult to realize that one is on the water during the performance. The whole is improved by Spalding & Rogers’s united circus companies. Taken altogether it is a most curious, original and interesting affair, and we have therefore selected it as something that would interest our readers. It is now in active operation in the waters of Alabama, and attracts as many visitors to see the structure itself, as to witness the excellent performances that are conducted within its walls by the enterprising managers.

 


Reprinted from Gleason's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion, February 19,1853.