The Howard Bros. Circus Model Little Known Facts
The Howard Bros. Circus Model Interesting Facts
The Howard Bros. Circus Model is a ¾-inch-to-the-foot scale replica of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus when the tented circus was at its largest (circa 1919-1938). Why is it called the Howard Bros. Circus? Howard C. Tibbals, creator of the Howard Bros. Circus, wrote a letter to Ringling management when he started building his model as a teenager, asking permission to use the Ringling logo on the railroad cars and circus wagons. The Ringling management refused his request.
The Howard Bros. Circus Model is so Big that . . .
At 3,800 square feet, it’s larger than the average American home. The visitor’s viewing walkway around the exhibit is 450 feet (length of 1-½ football fields)
It contains more than 42,000 individual pieces in the entire display
The Big Top tent holds 7,000 miniature folding chairs and covers enough area to park five Mini Cooper automobiles
More than 800 animals inhabit the miniature (211 exotic animals in the menagerie tent)
Approximately 1,300 circus artists and staff occupy the circus grounds
The Howard Bros. Circus Model is so Small that . . .
The 2,164 individually turned wooden tent stakes are only 3 inches in length (4 feet long in real life)
The tallest person on the Midway (the Giant) is only 5¾-inches tall
The dishes in the cookhouse dining tent are only 3/4 inch in diameter, complemented by 5/8-inch knives, forks and spoons
Combs, hairbrushes and mirrors in the dressing tent are less than 3/8-inches long. A roll of toilet paper measures ¼-inch
The smallest individual piece is a nut, located in the truck department that measures 1/16 x 1/8 x 1/8 inches.
Other Places that the Howard Bros. Circus Model Has Been Exhibited
The Howard Bros. Circus model exhibition in the Circus Museum’s Tibbals Learning Center marks the first time that the entire model has ever been assembled and displayed to the public. Portions of the Howard Bros. Circus have toured throughout the United States, and have been seen by countless admirers at the:
1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, TN
National Geographic Museum, Washington, D.C. (Dec. 1985-Oct. 1986)
Rochester Museum and Science Center, Rochester, NY (Mar.-Sept. 1987)
Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI (1987-1989)
Circus World Museum, Baraboo, WI (1989-1993)
Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN (Feb.-Sept. 1993)
Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH (1995)