This is an example of the wagon histories you can find at www.circuswagons.org
Running Lioness / Hagenbeck-Wallace Ticket Wagon
( 1904 – JTB # 9,photo # 59D – Great Wallace Shows – Wagon # 23 )
From Richard E. Conover (1).
Note: not all photographs accompanying this article are included.
During the last half of the 1890 decade, the Great Wallace Show obviously underwent a big expansion. This expansion also contributed to the hometown economy because Sullivan & Eagle, a firm in the Wallace winter quarters city of Peru, Ind., supplied at least 13 new parade wagons in this buildup. For the most part, these wagons were works of major proportions, distinctive for their line carvings in heavy relief, with four of the cages, in particular, having exceptionally massive corner posts. Besides these four, there were four other fine cages, including a hippopotamus den, a very fancy ticket wagon with clown-head carvings on its corners, a small parade chariot with carved eagles forward, and the two tableaus which are our subject. It is convenient and proper to consider these two tableaus together, because certain common characteristics in the artistry of their carvings almost assure that the same woodcarver did both of them, and because, for a span of years, they had a parallel history. From a camera angle, the origin of the Rhino Tableau was almost left out of the picture; the only one so far discovered of it while it was actually with Great Wallace reveals just one end of it in the fringes of a faraway lot scene and, as such, it is good for documentary purposes only. On the other hand, we have three good pictures of the Running Lioness Tableau on Great Wallace, the earliest taken in Neenah, Wisc., when the show played there on May 31, 1898. This Neenah picture (Photo No. 1) is an important contribution to this note, because it is the only one that shows the rear end. Likewise, and for the same purpose, Photo No. 2 has been chosen because it best shows the front end. Shortly after the Great Wallace and the Carl Hagenbeck Greater Shows were combined into Hagenbeck-Wallace in 1907, these two tableaus were sold to the Sells Floto Circus. We have good photographs (Nos. 3 and 4) of each of them with the Floto show, the one of the Rhino being, incidentally, the earliest satisfactory one of it.
( 1912 – JTB # 25 – photo # 14B – SF WQ running lion tab # 47 being painted – Melvin collection )
The Sells-Floto Circus owned the wagon from 1907 through the 1932 season.
( 1918 maybe – Conover Set # 299 – photo # 3 )
During this time, many of the carvings started disappearing.
( 1924 – JTB # 10 – photo # 73G – Sells-Floto in Peru, In. April 28,1924 )
It’s possible that the lioness carving was put on a new wagon in the 1920s. This shows up in a 1924 photo from the CWM that shows the lioness carving on a drop frame wagon. This 1924 configuration is present again in 1925. The Joseph Bradbury notes indicate that he thought the wagon was on Sells-Floto in 1926 and 1928 but had not found any evidence to support this theory.
( 1929 – JTB # 10 – photo # 70F- Aug. 24, 1929 in Joplin, MO. )
Once the lioness carving was gone, the wagon became a painted ticket wagon. From 1929 to 1932, the wagon was painted differently each year. The 1929 version is seen above. The 1929 wagon list simply calls this the Green ticket wagon with no number to reference it with. (2) The 1930 version was promoting Tom Mix and his wonder horse Tony as seen below.
( 1930 – JTB # 47 – photo # 82B – Aug. 26, 1930 in Easton, Pa. – Warren H. Wood photo )
While the Sells-Floto was still featuring Tom Mix in 1931, the wagon had been repainted again.
( 1931 – JTB # 48 – photo # 83A – June 19, 1931 in Jersey City, NJ – Warren H. Wood photo )
With Tom Mix no longer on the show in 1932, the wagon was once again repainted. The wagon was now numbered # 60,carried the Side Show Trunks, was used as a Bandwagon in the parade and served as the Grand Stand ticket wagon. (3)
( 1932 – JTB # 25- photo # 98A – SF in parade, Band on #78 Ticket wagon, Sept. 12, 1932 in Bowling Green, KY. )
After the Sells-Floto Circus was taken off the road following the 1932 season, this wagon went over the the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. The photo below was taken in 1933.
In 1934, the wagon was on the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus as # 46 where it still served as a ticket wagon. A carton drawing of Popeye the sailor man was painted on the side by Emmett Kelly, a cartoonist, turned aerialist, turned famed clown.
( 1934 on the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus – Steve Flint collection )
The wagon was not used in 1935 and the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus did not go out in 1936. In 1937, the wagon was re-lettered again while still using the number 46.
( 1937 – JTB # 64 – photo # 42A – HW April 4, 1937 in Peru WQ – Marion Lewis photo )
After the 1937 season closed and was back in the Peru winter quarters, this wagon remained there. The photo below shows it sitting in the fields with lots of wagons left to be, needed no more.
( 1938 – JTB # 9 – photo # 21C – Peru, WQ )
The Peru winter quarter inventory that was taken on Nov. 30, 1939, indicated this wagon was used for concessions and was rated as being in good condition. Ultimately, it was burned in the wagon fires of Nov. 1941.
(1) Bandwagon, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Jan-Feb), 1966, pp. 12-14.
(2) White Tops, November / December 1975, pp. 10-11
(3) Bannerline, March 1, 1951, Page 3, 1932 Train and Wagon List by Joe Bradbury