I have always been drawn to horse drawn vehicles, especially those with elaborate ornamentation, so in 2010 I researched, planned the design, and built a model from scratch.
My circus bandwagon was built using ¼ inch hardwood plywood to a scale of ½ inch = 1ft. – 0 inches. The decorative items on the wagon were first made from Sculpy clay or two part epoxy putty. I chose the Trojan motif because it was my fantasy for a colorful replica. They were cast using rubber molds or Sculpy molds which I created. Finally, the wagon was spray painted using red Rust-oleum lacquer. All metal parts were constructed of brass. The wheels, which I decorated, were bought from on on-line dealer.
Here’s a little history on circus parades and their wagons;
- Circus parades are traced to 1797.
- Tents were used for performances since 1825, and required sturdy baggage wagons to carry equipment to towns.
- I. Van Amburg paraded and promoted his show thru N. Y. City with a wagon of wooden carvings, fabric, and paint ornamentation in 1846.
- Circuses began to move equipment by railroad in 1872.
- The U.S Army in World War II studied the circus method of setting up and breaking down what amounted to a “small town” within a one day.
- When cities grew larger, many circuses stopped staging street parades and circus wagons were mostly abandoned by 1930.
- Fortunately, the Circus World Museum in Wisconsin have a collection of preserved wagon for all to see and enjoy!
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