Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Ringling, Sarasota Florida, Circus and a Whole Lot More, The Miniature Circus

Copyright 2014, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

The three photos above are not of real life sized buildings and train.  They are miniatures!  Really!

The first "collection" we visited during our day at The Ringling, was the "Howard Bros. Circus Model".    This is the world's largest miniature circus and they are still building pieces!  To simply state that the detail is amazing just does not tell the story.  Here are a few photos, ok, a LOT of photos.  I could not stop Sony Too!

Look at the detail, the dining tent for feeding meals to the crews, the entertainers.  If you look down in the front left corner you will find the dishes being washed and yes, there is silverware there too!

The entertainers entering the "Big Top".

A little girl practicing high wire walking, not up too high yet.  Check out the laundry over her left shoulder, yep, red long johns, as well as some other laundry hanging back there.

This is detail!  The power lines, strung with copper wire and little glass insulators!

Main street at the circus.  Families.  Balloons.  Ticket booths.

Ice cream anyone?

The side shows.

Inside the menagerie tent.  the camels and llamas.  Somewhere during the day of our visit I heard that many cities and towns did not have zoos and that the traveling menageries served as zoos.  (The researcher in my soul is having trouble with the fact that I cannot remember where I heard that tidbit.)

See the fellow selling lemonade?  I wonder, that pile of boxes to his left, if that's fudge?

The wild cat show, tigers and lions, and above, men on the flying trapeze.

A close up the the trapeze artists.

Again, look at this detail!  Even the straps on her feet to help her hold that large rope are included.

Horse trainer and his steeds:

A sleeping car, notice the pillows through the windows?

The museum building has a second story, this is just one of the views of the circus from that level.

Howard Tibbals is the genius behind the miniature circus.  His circus has 42,143 items, not including the small pieces such as thousands of railroad stakes.  There are eight large tents, 152 circus wagons, 1,500 workers and performers, 7,000 folding chairs and more than 500 hand-carved animals.  Howard was not allowed to use the name Ringling on his circus pieces, so he used his own name.  It took him over 20 years to build his circus.  He showed it at the 1982 Knoxville World Fair.  It took him over a year to set up the circus at The Ringling.  The circus is built on a scale of ¾-inch-to-the-foot.  All items are true to the originals.  Even the inside of some of the wagons have items like money, tickets, chairs, desks, etc.

Truly amazing!  I was really enthralled by this circus.

*  Most photos taken through glass, available light, avoiding reflections when I could, and many cases with considerable assistance from Sony Too's zoom.


Lynne Carothers said...


I wouldn't want to dust it! lol

I can see how you got so entranced by it.

Carol said...



No way Lynne, no way!