ALIVE! Fred G Johnson’s American Sideshow Banners
Fred G. Johnson’s (1892 – 1990) banners were used to illustrate A Century of Progress for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair His artwork also advertised the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey and Clyde Beatty circuses.
From the 1870s to the late 1960s, sideshow banners were regular sights at carnivals, circuses and travelling shows. The banners told of wonders to behold – mangled animals that defied nature, gargantuan humans, imperilled shapely women dolled-up in red and silver-spangles being pelted with knives – and the best bit was that the freaks and curiosities were all ‘ALIVE’ ,and yours to gaze a for just a few cents.