The nineteenth century was the golden age of the circus in Ohio. Before the Ringling brothers became synonymous with the American circus, Cincinnati's John Robinson and the Sells brothers of Columbus wowed audiences with stunning equestrian feats and aerial exploits. For good measure, the Sells brothers threw in a sharpshooting show with a young Ohio woman by the name of Annie Oakley. The Walter L. Main Circus of Geneva and a number of smaller shows presented their own unique spectacles with exotic animals and daring acrobats. But for all the fun and games, Ohio's circus industry was serious business. As competition intensified, advertising wars erupted and acquisitions began. Eventually, Ringling Brothers swallowed many of these circuses one by one, and they dropped out of memory. Author Conrade C. Hinds brings this fascinating piece of Ohio show business back into the spotlight.
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