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The Bloomington-Normal Circus Legacy: The Golden Age of Aerialists (Hardcover)
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Starting in the 1870s, the barns, icehouses, gymnasiums and empty theaters of central Illinois provided the practice sites for aerial performers whose names still command reverence in the annals of American circus history. Meet Fred Miltimore and the Green Brothers, runaways from the Fourth Ward School who became the first Bloomington-born flyers. Watch Art Concello, a ten-year-old truant, become first a world-class flyer, then a famous trapeze impresario and finally Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus's most successful general manager. The entire art of the trapeze--instruction, training, performance and management--became a Bloomington-Normal industry during the tented shows' golden age, when finding a circus flying act without a connection to this area would have been virtually impossible.