No. 542
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
January 28, 2022

Floating Circus.

Spaulding & Rogers’s Floating Circus Palace.
April 11, 2016
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Via Newspapers.comThe following little meteorological oddity was reported in the “Ogden Standard,” January 7, 1909:Santa Cruz, Cal. Jan 6.--A remarkable phenomenon that has caused wonder and consternation in the neighborhood of the Santa Cruz Beach was reported by Mrs. W.H. Burns of 240 Riverside avenue this city this morning and when investigated was fully corroborated by residents of the
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Artist's rendition of the Pearl Bryan murder from The Mysterious Murder of Pearl Bryan, Or, The Headless Horror. Cincinnati: Barclay & Co., 1896. Read Pearl Bryan's story in the new book,So Far from Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder.Now available at Amazon.
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Murder By Gaslight - 1/27/2022
An article I recently wrote for the British online magazine, New Politic, is now available online. The article, “The Criminal Origins of the United States of America,” is about British convict transportation to America, which took place between the years 1718 and 1775, and is the subject of my book, Bound with an Iron Chain: […]
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Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
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.