Modestly entitled "The Greatest Show on Earth", the Barnum and Bailey Show dwarfed all other attractions when it came to Glasgow for a three week run at the end of June 1898, on open ground off Victoria Road at Calder Street.
A massive parade from the city centre to the showground ensured maximum publicity. The Evening Times described the tent used for the Big Show as "like a football pitch covered over". The Daily Record carried a Barnum and Bailey story every day, giving attendance figures for the previous day, usually exceeding 20,000.
Two performances of the main show were held daily, with many additional visitors attracted to the side shows which included freaks such as Jo-Jo, the Human Skye Terrier. Excursions were organised from as far afield as Belfast, and there was traffic chaos on routes from the city centre to the South Side.
Reference: Mitchell Library, Theatre Collection, G 792 MUS
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries and Archives
acrobats, Barnum and Bailey Show, circuses, Daily Record, Evening Times, freaks, parades, The Greatest Show on Earth