YESTERDAY'S TOWNS

HOWDY, MY NAME IS BILL STRONG, I'LL BE YOUR "24 HOUR MAN", ROUTING YOU INTO THE PAST TO SEE WHAT THE CIRCUS WAS IN DAYS GONE BY. IF YOU'RE LIKE ME, AND MISS WHAT IT USED TO BE, THEN COME ON ALONG AS WE GO DOWN THE ROAD FOLLOWING THE ARROWS BACKWARDS, TO "YESTERDAY'S TOWNS"! IF YOU HAVE CIRCUS RELATED PICTURES YOU WOULD LIKE POSTED, SEND THEM TO,,,,yesterday1@verizon.net,,,,AND WE WILL TRY TO FIT THEM IN. "24 HOUR MAN" WILL HAVE THE FINAL DECISION ON POSTING.

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Location: GIBSONTON, FLORIDA, United States

Three years at CWM made me a real traditionalist, and I keep remembering Bob Parkinson saying, "I want the people to see what the circus used to be, not what it is today. That's what this site is about!

Monday, July 09, 2007

CIRCUS TRUNKS #1: FROM RICHARD FLINT, TAYLOR TRUNKS

Your recent posting of Meredith's Show Book from Chicago with its list
of suppliers brought to mind a Chicago company that every old rail
show performer would remember, Chicago's Taylor Trunk. They began
catering to circus people in the late 19th century but provided all
kinds of specialty trunks for show people: trunks just for music, for
instruments, for wardrobe, for hats, and even specialty trunks for
advertising matter! I don't think there was ever any other trunk used
on circuses! However, I do not know when they were last sold to
showfolks. Does anyone know? How many of these still survive,
perhaps with LDR or MDR painted on the sides?
Dick Flint
Baltimore

8 Comments:

Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

Richard, I'd just about bet you wouldn'find one of these on any circus today, Thank You for the contribution to the blog.

7/10/2007 12:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I have to get up to the attic before it hits 95 today to look at the trunk up there. It wasn't from circus use but looks identical.cc

7/10/2007 8:52 AM  
Blogger Pat Cashin said...

The Ringling clowns switched to the upright steamer trunks during the CC era and I believe still use them today.

I'd be suprised if any of them were less than 75 years old.

I have two in my garage but there is no way that I could travel with them. They are about 50-75lbs empty.

No airline would touch them.

~P

7/10/2007 11:45 AM  
Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

The Taylor was covered w/ canvas & had a galvanized bottom, whereas the Schuessler had galvanized on all 4 sides obviously making it heavier, mine was 83 lbs. As I commented below, shipping was over $90, but then how far is it from Tampa, FL., to Bend, Oregon.

7/10/2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger 24-HOUR-MAN said...

I was told once that Taylor Trunks were tested by dropping them from a second story window.

7/10/2007 12:17 PM  
Anonymous johnny said...

TRUNK WAGONS ON RAILROAD SHOWS WERE BUILT TO HANDLE tAYLOR TRUNKS in width and any other size trunk would throw off the whole load. Camel back trunks were a NONO for stacking purposes and I believe the circus industry put out the claim that they were a "jinx", just like a mouth organ in the dressing room or "black tights" in the ring.

I recall that when my DEad arrived home in the Fall my mother would only allow his trunk in the summer kitchen [back of the house porch] until she could "air it out" from those pesky Bed Bugs that were prevelant on Railroad shows.
On Ringling Bobby Kaye had a Taylor trunk that had MDR painted on its top, and told me that it had been Rhoda Royals trunk previously and advised me that when he passed on it would be mine. Duane Thorpe was witness to his comment but both are passed on and I did not receive said trunk. I believe Bobby was quite sincere.

7/13/2007 11:01 AM  
Anonymous johnny said...

I recall that the letters MDR or LDR were painted on the very top of the trunk with LDR on the left and MDR on the right.

7/15/2007 9:21 AM  
Blogger Mike Naughton said...

Johnny,

Regarding Rhoda Royal's trunk: Bobby told me the same story the last time I visited him on RBBB, later '70s. He was took great pride knowing that the trunk was going to you.

7/30/2007 8:21 AM  

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