Barnum, Henry. The Grand Central Park Menagerie in Conjunction with Den Stone’s Circus and Troupe of Indian Equestrians! Including the Iroquois Tribe of Warriors, Panoramic Scenes, Hippodramatic Spectacles, and the Grecian Gymnasium; Together with All the Classic Sports, Exercises, Feats &c. A double-sided herald (27 ½ in. x 10 ½ in.) advertising Den Stone’s circus on one side and a wild west show on the other side, which took place in Norwich on Friday, June 27, 1873. A herald was a broadside-type advertisement distributed in advance of an appearance of a circus, lacking color and printed on newsprint, in this instance double-sided for display in a double-glazed window frame. One herald usually showed the same content for every town for a particular season, this one being for the 1872-73 season tour and started performing in the Spring in Armenia, New York and toured through New England, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, ending its tour in New York City in October 1873, a disastrous year for big wagon American circus shows, due to the Panic of 1873.
Den Stone (1824-1892), a famous clown and showman, appeared on this herald and in this performance, as a clown. Stone had the first circus with an Indian/Wild West Act as early as 1855. A native of Burlington, Vermont, he ran away at 14 to join the circus in a horse act and became a clown when he was only 16. The date given for “Central Park Menagerie and Den Stone’s Circus” is 1872 in Olympians of the Sawdust Circle by William L. Slout, pp. 292-3.)
This rare surviving herald underwent a surface cleaning to remove superficial and ground-in dirt, a washing to reduce acidity and some discoloration, buffering with an aqueous solution of calcium hydroxide to deter future acid influx, sizing with gelatin to restore crispness and resilience to the paper, tears and weak areas were reinforced with mulberry paper and wheat starch paste. Losses were filled in and planar distortions and creases were flattened by humidifying and pressing between blotters.
A copy of The Maine Farmer: An Agricultural and Family Newspaper, August 2, 1873, is included with an illustrated advertisement-article about the Central Park Menangerie.