This is the mast head for SHOWHISTORY.COM website. A very unique place for those interested in odd, unique and offbeat memorabilia.
Here is a comment by the website manager:
“Membership is $25 a year and allows you access to all of the materials, photos, letterheads, etc.– including multi-page items, such as the largest collection of sideshow pitchbooks ever gathered together– currently 65 scanned and online, and more than 60 more to be added. Currently we have about 1200 images online and plan on adding about 2000 more items per year until the growing collection has been fully digitized.”
“The origin of this undertaking emerged in casual conversation outside The Sarasota Showman’s Club one February evening sometime in 2001. The Showhistory.com website first debuted on February 11, 2002. The plan then, as now, was to engage in the enormous task of listing every novelty, variety, sideshow and freakshow performer who ever crossed the lot, creaked the boards of dime museum or bally, saw sun glint in the eyes of an audience in some small town, waiting for the sound of nickels and dimes clacking into a metal box.”
“Finally expanding to more than a thousand pages of material and hundreds of images, the site was unfortunately mainly inactive after 2006.”
“In October 2014 the site was redesigned and relaunched in a slightly different form– as an online image archive available on a subscription basis. While now you must pay to access the full contents of the site, including our expanding archive of online images (over 1000 at launch), we plan on preserving and re-introducing all of the earlier material, and presenting a large quantity of free-access material.”
“ShowHistory.com plans on eventually making available online for members all of the 11,000-plus item archive of photos, pitchcards, handbills and ephemera in the area of sideshow, novelty and variety, vaudeville, burlesque, dime museums, carnivals, and outdoor show business in general. The earliest item in the collection dates from 1609, and the archive continues to expand to include items from present-day performers and exhibits.”
Showhistory.com wishes to chronicle the lost, fading and future scene on the fringes of the American amusement business– in biography, history, photographs, and whatever else we can find. Collect the stories before they disappear, push and pull together the conflicting sources in books and memoribilia so that they can coexist in one place.”
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In the next post I have ready to go up I have ‘borrowed’ some text from Showhistory.com to help illustrate the life of Clarence Dale.
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Hope you have the inclination to JOIN…it is certainly worth the fee and it helps support the work they are doing on the site.
Visited the newly renovated SLIPPER ROOM on Orchard Street and interviewed Coney Island’s own Adam RealMan. He does all of the following:
THE ELECTRIC CHAIR
THE BED OF NAILS
RAZOR BLADE EATING
EATING LIT CIGARETTES
MASTER OF MAGIC The Coney Island Sideshow has been relocated to The Slipper Room while the Coney Island USA site gets rebuilt after the hurricane Sandy took it’s tool there.
Adam talks about his work as a ‘strongman‘ and ‘sideshow‘ performer.
More photographs of Adam and the Coney Island Sideshow at BB Kings can be seen here.
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