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Circus train wrecks

Circus Train Wrecks

 

Circus Trivia, Did You Know?   Did you know that: In 1952 at age 5 Steven Spielberg saw his first motion picture, Cecil B. DeMille's "The Greatest Show on Earth". The train wreck scene from that movie inspired Spielberg to later become a filmmaker.

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The first circus to travel by rail was the Den Stone Circus in 1854. Through out the history of the American circus, train wrecks have taken many lives. The last fatal circus train wreck occurred in 1994 near Lakeland, Florida.

Currently only one circus and one carnival move their shows by railroad, the units of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the James E. Startes Carnival.

 

List of Known Circus Train Wrecks:


P. T. Barnum Great Traveling Exposition, Altoona, IW August 29, 1877 - 6 Killed

Sells Bros. Circus, Birmingham, Pa., May 1, 1878

Sells Bros. Circus, Caldwell, Ohio, September 15, 1878 - 1 Injured

Sells Bros. Circus, Paint Lick, KY, August 1882 - 3 Killed 15 Injured

W. C. Coup Circus, Cairo, IL. August 19, 1882

Nathan & Company Circus, Wolcott, NY. September 23, 1882

S. H. Barrett Circus, Harrodsburg, KY. April 10, 1884

S. H. Barrett Circus, Abingdon, VA. April 19, 1884

John Robinson Circus, Fergus Falls MN. October 4, 1885- 8 Killed 10 Injured

Frank A. Robbins, Putman, CT. July 7, 1886 - 1 Killed

Adam Forepaugh, Augusta, Maine, June 16, 1886

John Robinson Circus, St. Louis, MO. November 4, 1887 - 2 Killed

John Robinson Circus, Brazil, IN. November 5, 1887

1888 Barnum & London, Vassalboro, Maine

John Robinson Circus, Corwin, Ohio, September 10, 1888

Barnum & Bailey's Circus, Potsdam, NY. August 22, 1889 - 2 Injured

Cook & Whitby Circus, Richland Center, WI. July 7, 1892 - 1 Killed

Cook & Whitby Circus, McGregor, IA, July 8, 1892 - 2 Injured

Ringling Bros Circus, Concordia, Kans., May 17, 1892 - 2 Killed

Ringling Bros Circus, Centralia, Mo., October 18, 1892

Walter L. Main Circus, Tyrone. PA. May 30, 1893 - 6 Killed, 11 Injured

Buffalo Bill Wild West, Centralia, WI., September 5, 1896 - 1 Injured.

Buffalo Bill Wild West, Altoona, Pa., June 1, 1901 - 1 Injured

Buffalo Bill Wild West, Lexington, NC. October. 20, 1901

Indian Bill Wild West, Mt. Jewet, Pa., 1901

John H. Sparks Circus, Veedersburg, IN. September 1, 1902

Sells & Downs, Choctaw, OK. Sept. 20 1902 - 2 Killed

Harris-Nickle-Plate Circus, Tifton, GA. November 22, 1902

Great Wallace, Shelbyville, IL. July 16, 1903 - 2 Killed, 4 Injured

Wallace Bros. Shows, Durand, MI. August 6, 1903 - 23 Killed, 121 Injured

Norris & Rowe, Saskatoon, Sask, Can., July 1 1906

Carl Hagenbeck Circus, Tiger Creek, Ark., October 25, 1906

Cole Bros., Ashburn, Ga., November 10, 1906

Hagenbeck-Wallace, Big Rapids, Mich., July 24, 1907

Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, Saint Paul, Minn. June 25, 1908

Buffalo Ranch Wild West, Bessemer, AL.

Campbell Bros. Circus, Oregon River, OR, June 16, 1910

Campbell Bros. Circus,Sparta, WI., August 16, 1910

Campbell Bros. Circus,Goliad, TX, December 9, 1910

Yankee Robinson, Merriland Junction, WI., June 9, 1911

Con. T. Kennedy Shows (carnival), Columbus, GA. November 22, 1915 - 24 Killed

Barnum & Bailey, Richfield, Neb., August 12, 1913 - 27 Injured

Miller Bros. 101 Ranch Wild West, East Somerhill, MA. June 24, 1913 , 3 Injured

Sells-Floto, Havensville, Kansas, September. 16, 1915

101 Ranch Wild West, Virginia October. 2, 1916

Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, Hammond, IN. June 22, 1918 - 86 Killed, 179 Injured

Christy Bros. Circus, Cardston AB. Canada May 25, 1920

Patterson Circus, Girard, KS. July 11, 1922

Al G. Barnes Circus, Willows, CA., October. 1, 1924

Hagenbeck-Wallace, Longview, TX., November 11, 1924

Heritage Bros., Toronto, OH, May 11, 1926

Al G. Barnes Circus, Canaan, N. B., Canada July 20, 1930 - 5 Killed, 18 Injured

Cole Bros Circus, Brainerd, MN., July 27, 1945 - 2 Injured

Cole Bros Circus, Redding, CA., September 9, 1946

Clyde Beatty Circus, Hubbard, NE July 10, 1947 - 1 Killed

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Kingstree, SC (fire on board train) December 3, 1974 - 4 Killed

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Lakeland, FL. January . 13, 1994 - 2 Killed

 
Circus Train Wreck
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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey,
Lakeland, FL. January . 13, 1994
 
 
Cole Bros Circus Train Wreck
Click to enlarge
Cole Bros Circus,
Brainerd, MN., July 27 1945
 

 
Circus Train Wreck
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Al G. Barnes July 20 1930
 
 
Barnum and Bailey Circus train wreck 1889
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Barnum and Bailey 1889
Photo Credit: Potsdam Public Museum,
obtained from nyheritage.org
 
 
Columbus, georgir train wreck
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Con. T. Kennedy Shows train wreck
 
 
Al G. Barnes Train Wreck
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Al G. Barnes July 20 1930
 
 
Walter L Main Circus Train Wreck
Click to enlarge
Walter L. Maine Circus train wreck
memorial, near Tyrone, PA
 

Cole Bros Circus Train Wreck
Click to enlarge
Cole Bros July 27th 1945 Brainerd, MN
 
 
Gole Bros Circus Train Wreck 1945
Click to enlarge
Cole Bros Tircus Train Wreck 1945
 

 

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