Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 7, 1948: Performers poses on elephants during the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in New York, New York. (Photo by Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)Photo by: Michael Ochs Archives
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
NEW YORK - APRIL 02: A performer rides an elephant during a live perfomance of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden on April 02, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images)Photo by: Scott Wintrow
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
Two unidentified kids sitting in a circus vehicle and posing for the picture during a rehearsal for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Sarasota, FL in 1949.Photo by: Nina Leen
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
A group of people standing near an elephant during a rehearsal for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Sarasota, FL in 1949.Photo by: Nina Leen
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
Life Visits the Circus in Florida- Acrobats and stage performers in various stages of action. (Photo By Nina Leen/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)Photo by: Nina Leen
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
UNITED STATES - JULY 01: Actress Esther Williams gets a boost while climbing on a elephant during a charity show put on by Hollywood stars with Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus to benefit St. John's Hospital in Hollywood. (Photo by Allan Grant/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)Photo by: Allan Grant
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 7, 1948: A performer balances on rope to entertain the audience during Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in New York, New York. (Photo by Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)Photo by: Michael Ochs Archives
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 7,1948: A clown poses outside the tent during Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in New York, New York. (Photo by Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)Photo by: Michael Ochs Archives
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
American circus clown Weary Willie, aka Emmett Kelly (1898 - 1979) mingles with the audience to sweep out peanut shells at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, Madison Square Garden, New York, April 1948. (Photo by FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images)Photo by: FPG
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
FITCH BANDWAGON -- "Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus" -- Pictured: Clown with kids in the audience -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)Photo by: NBC
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
The Christiani family practicing their bareback riding act for Ringling Brothers circus performance in Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Gjon Mili/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)Photo by: Gjon Mili
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
Gargantua the Great, the famous giant gorilla featured in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, who sustained a scarred face when a sailor threw acid in his face on the ship from Africa, at the circus' winter quarters. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)Photo by: Alfred Eisenstaedt
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
Ringling Bros. animal trainer holding snarling leopard over his head. (Photo by Gjon Mili/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)Photo by: Gjon Mili
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
Ringling Bros. animal trainer working w. seven snarling lepards while lioness & black panther sit on perch. (Photo by Gjon Mili/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)Photo by: Gjon Mili
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey combined circus puts on a five ring show at the Coliseum in the Bronx in New York City, 1929. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)Photo by: Underwood Archives
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
United States of America (USA), New York City: Illuminated advertising: circus Barnum & Bailey, Blue Label Ketchup and Music Publishers Jerome H. Remick & Co - probably in the 1910s (Photo by Haeckel collection/ullstein bild via Getty Images)Photo by: ullstein bild
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
(Original Caption) Ringling Brothers Circus poster showing Tiny Tom Tinker, midget elephant with group of spectators looking on. Lithograph 1911. BPA2# 1480Photo by: Bettmann
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
Emmett Kelly, shown as "Weary Willie," the clown for Barnum Bailey Circus (1942-1956).Photo by: Bettmann
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
Interior view of Barnum and Bailey Circus under "the big-top" tent; circus acts performing and stands are packed. Undated photo. Gendreau coll.Photo by: Bettmann
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
A crowd in front of the main entrance to the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus. (Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)Photo by: Library of Congress
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
The Barnum & Bailey greatest show on earth. Scenes in the grand water circus, c. 1895. Artist: The Strobridge Lithographing Company (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)Photo by: Heritage Images
Through the years: Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus
Poster for Barnum & Bailey circus 1889 : supernatural illusions under the black tent. (Photo by APIC/Getty Images)Photo by: Apic