The Great­est Shows on Earth

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Fe­line fa­tale

Ex­otic per­former Dolores Val­lecita brought the wild to the big top when she en­tered the ring with her six In­dian leop­ards. One of the ear­li­est fe­male cir­cus train­ers to at­tempt such an act, Val­lecita – seen here with one of her big cats in c1906 – was killed by her favourite leop­ard in 1925.

Com­ing to town

The ar­rival of the cir­cus in town was cause for great ex­cite­ment, as well as a fan­tas­tic way of ad­ver­tis­ing the acts that could be seen. Here, the US Rin­glings Bros Cir­cus brings traf­fic, and peo­ple, to a stand­still as it pa­rades down Mar­ket Street in San Fran­cisco in 1900, com­plete with ele­phants.

A life on show

Con­joined twins Mil­lie and Christina – pic­tured here in 1866 – were stan­dard fare in Vic­to­rian cir­cuses and hugely popular in Eng­land.

On the wire

French tightrope walker and acro­bat Charles Blondin is seen here on one of his leg­endary death-de­fy­ing walks across the Niagara Falls.

The fe­male Her­cules

Cir­cus strong­woman Katie Sand­wina is pic­tured here in 1911 hold­ing three men, seem­ingly with­out ef­fort.

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