Circus Girls are "Normal" - Amanuensis Monday

(Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette)

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Thanks to John Newmark at
Transylvanian Dutch for providing the idea for Amanuensis Monday.

One of my blogging resolutions for the new year is to participate in Amanuensis Monday several times a month. I plan to alternate old articles from local Worcester, MA newspapers on some Mondays and more serious transcriptions of family articles, letters, and whatnot on other Mondays. I'd also like to take advantage of Mystery Monday at least once a month to post some of the photos in my mystery collection.

Sometimes it's so easy to get distracted. I was doing some research in the Worcester Telegram and came upon this article. How could you not stop to read this one? Do you get a sense from the title that circus girls perhaps had a "bad rep" back in 1918? I do too. They might walk the tightrope, fly with the greatest of ease, and spin by their hair during the show, but somehow it's comforting to know they go home to runny nosed kids and dirty dishes just like the rest of us.

Worcester Daily Telegram. Thursday, June 6, 1918 p. 9.


Men and women who watch the Barnum & Bailey circus parade when the sun creates a natural light around the faces of the girls who ride on spangled horses, often are heard to remark the freshness of the riders and the lack of cosmetics.

The modern circus girl is interesting because for many years girls who traveled with a show were considered to be hardened creatures of uncertain morals. That was the nomadic day of the tented entertainment. When the Barnum & Bailey circus comes to Worcester, June 14, there will be several hundred girls with the show. Many of the so-called girls are married women with young daughters and sons, who are also with the circus and the ordinary, healthy girls who live in comfortable, refined homes, except that the life of the circus girl is in the open, where she has a better opportunity to develop both physically and mentally.

Life behind the red curtain, which separates the dressing rooms from the rest of the circus is not unlike that of a big family camp. Here the women do their sewing, their laundry, their reading and writing and the instructing of their young children.

Other Posts You Might Like:

Amanuensis Monday: Clairvoyants and Distractions
Amanuensis Monday: Frank L. Naramore Obituary
Tuesday's Tip: A Tale of Two Indexers
The Stories My Grandmother Told Me

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