In the early 1900s, when the circus came to town, everyone took the day off. The factory you worked at would close for the day. All the shopkeepers would lock up and head to see the animals and sideshow performers who they’d seen parading into town. In 1910, the Ringling Bros. hired Harry A. Atwell as their official photographer, and he began a forty-year career of capturing circus life. The following collection of images is a walk behind the scenes and under the big top of the Ringling Bros. Circus of the early 20th century.
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