Trombone History: Pair of Early Circus Posters

I continue to add to the 19th century timeline (2nd half). Over the weekend I added a pair of circus posters, both of them highlighting musicians. The first one, from Ringling Brothers, shows a large band with 10 trombones. The second, from Barnum & Bailey, features a small clown band as the focus of the image, including a trombonist. This second poster could be seen as related to the trombone-humor and trombone-clown themes in trombone history that I’ve mentioned elsewhere.

1895—United States: A Ringling Brothers circus poster advertises “A superb preliminary musical festival” by Liberati’s Band, billing the ensemble as “America’s grandest military concert band.” Pictured is a large band with 10 trombonists (see upper-right of below image; public domain).

1898—A circus poster for Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth features an 8-member clown band, plus conductor, that includes a trombone. The advertisement, with text printed in French, is from the circus’s European tour of 1897 through 1902 (see below image; public domain).


    • Bryan,
      I don’t think I’ve come across anything like that. I’ll drop you a line if I do, though!

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