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2/28/2014 05:18:00 AM
This is a vision I will take to the grave as my all time best memory of what an American Big Top should look like (thanks) This may have been the last of Butch Troyer's "A-1" tops
I agree whoeheartedly Chic. johnny
Over the years (long past) I had the very good fortune of becoming friends with Leif Asmundsen & learned much from him in his shops where Butch worked under his tutelage for the last years of Leif's life After some idiot who bought the company (Leaf Tent & Sail) & ran it into the ground Butch started his own "A-1 Tents" & continued to build terrific canvas & rigging products until his untimely death years ago Leif's father had come over to the OLD Ringling Show from his Native Norway to run the loft at the Sarasota Winter Quarters
This was my era, Chic! I joined the Beatty Show as a marketing director in 1978, the first year of the new blue & white big top! I married Ned Potter, Hoover's head cage man in 1980. I eventually landed on every payroll there was from staff to "working man!" I returned in the late '90's for two more seasons.LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT!!!!!:-)Cindy Potter
It must have taken a real pro to cut and sew those large pieces of canvas together to make those large tents.And to sew those ropes on the under side of the canvas for support all the work that went into that.D. R. Miller got a tent from Unites States tent in Chicago in the early 70's It was pure white with red and blue pen striping.BUT they put the damn cable too long in it and 4 days out and the canvas was ripped in large areas.They sent a crew to San Antonio, Tx to do a quick repair job.Dory never got a tent from Anchor and it must be what they cost back then.But those Italian tents Dory used were great and everybody went to them.Harry in Texas
I doubt anyone ever built a better show top than Leif or his dad but there were a few other major canvas companies US Tent & Awning was also in Sarasota but stopped making big stuff many years back Anchor of Evansville Indiana had a big joint in Bradenton for a while but also long gone
Chic do you remember if Leif told you when his dad started working for Ringling? I had been told that the tent they found in the Ringling home and used in the Backyard display was one he had made for Mable Ringling. She had used it for parties at their home. I did not know if this was correct as Mable had died in 1929 and did not know the date he took over the sail loft.thanks for all the information,p.j.
Anyone remember, Baker-Lockwood, Mfg. from Chicago. At one time was a major supplyer to Showbiz.
Sorry PJ that would seems like something I might have asked but if I did I don't remember I do recall him telling me the largest top he worked on for Ringling was a 220 round with 5 middles to make a total of 14 sections (BIG big top & no spool in those days)
Jim,I have a Baker-Lockwood letterhead in my circus collection and they got the tents for the new Cole Bros-Clyde Beatty Circus in 1935 and though many more years.Chicago's big tent house.Harry in Texas
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