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Cole Bros. Circus (c1884 - 1957)

 Organisation

Dates

  • Existence: c1884 - 1957

Biography

Cole Bros. Circus was established by William Washington Cole (1847-1915) in 1884 as W.W. Cole's New Colossal Shows. From the turn of the century Cole Bros. Circus changed ownership in several occasions. In c1900 it was bought by Canadian showmen Martin and James Downs and the name was changed to Cole Bros. Circus. In the 1920s, it was acquired by Floyd and Howard King and after the American depression of the 1930s it was bought by Jesse Adkins and Zack Terrell, who brought it back to its former glory.

In 1935 the legendary animal trainer and circus owner Clyde Beatty appeared with Cole Bros. Circus. Unbeknown to him his relationship with Cole's will stretch until the end of his life as his circus was acquired by the owners of Cole Bros. Circus in c1957 and merged to form the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus.

Found in 8 Collections and/or Records:

American and International Circus Programmes, c1950 - 1959

 Sub-Series
Reference code: 178K56.52-77
Scope and Contents

American and international circus programmes including Circo Americano, Boswell-Wilkie, Oklahoma State Fair, Cole Bros Circus, Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. and Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, all contain photographs of the acts and descriptions. In various languages.

Dates: c1950 - 1959

American Circus Programmes, 1932 - 1983

 Sub-Series
Reference code: 178K43.613
Scope and Contents

Programmes for various American circuses including; Polack Bros., Al G. Barnes, Shrine, Hagenbeck-Wallace, Cole Brothers and Clyde and Beatty, King Bros., Mills Bros. and Cristiani-Wallace Bros. Circus, Bullen Bros., Shrine Circus, California Circus, Myers Grand American Circus and Circus Hoffman. All contain black and white or colour photographs of the acts and performers inside, a programme, some information about the circus and acts and commercial advertising.

Dates: 1932 - 1983

Circus Films, c1950 - 1959

 Item
Reference code: 178D24.1
Scope and Contents

Copy of film on DVD showing performers at Harringay and with Bertram Mills, Polack Bros. Cole Bros Circus and Rosaires among other circuses. Also showing Digger Pugh on the trampoline and roller skates, other acts include female aerial acts, acrobatics, clowning, wild animal acts, equestrian acts, fakir acts, clowning and circus parades. Also scenes of performers behind the scenes and outdoor performances. Black and white and colour with narration and background music.

Dates: c1950 - 1959

Circus Friends Association Collection

 Fonds
Reference code: NFA0122
Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a large library of books and journals, as well as archival material including posters, programmes, photographs, films, handbills, research material, scrapbooks, original artwork and many other items of ephemera relating to British, Irish and European circuses

Dates: 1795 - 2020

Digger Pugh Collection

 Fonds
Reference code: NFA0179
Scope and Contents

Archive of the Digger Pugh family including newspaper cuttings, photographs, negatives, business records, programmes, research material, posters and films.

Dates: c1930 - 2010

Films, c1950 - 1959

 Series
Reference code: 178D24
Scope and Contents

Please notice that 178D24.4 contains scenes of animal cruelty and human fatalities. Copies of films on DVD format showing performers at various circus around the world, travelling scenes, scenic views, performers behind the scenes, film sets. Black and white and colour, sound.

Dates: c1950 - 1959

Programmes, 1949 - 1970

 Series
Reference code: 178K56
Scope and Contents

Programmes from British, European and American circuses and some variety venues in the United Kingdom, in various languages. Also includes a Boswell-Wilkie Circus programme from South Africa.

Dates: 1949 - 1970

Programmes, c1800 - 2019

 Series
Reference code: 178K43
Scope and Contents

A collection of mainly British and international circus programmes and some variety and music hall programmes containing circus acts.

Dates: c1800 - 2019