23.5.11

the vermont state fair, 1939

Barker at the grounds of the Vermont state fair, Rutland (LOC)

What vintage lovin' gal or guy hasn't daydreamed about the bygone days of the carnival? Now that I'm working my way through Season 2 of Carnivale, I'm especially inspired by the traveling midways, circuses and county fairs of the early 20th century.

These pictures are especially interesting to me, as they were taken in Rutland, Vermont, just an hour North of me. I've driven past the State Fairgrounds there a million times; it's so fascinating to see such a familiar site in these 1939 shots from the Library of Congress' archives. Pretty neat, eh?

To explore the LOC archives (caveat: may distract you for several hours; do not click if you have work to be done!) click on any image to visit their Flickr site.

"Backstage" at the "girlie" show at the Vermont state fair, Rutland (LOC)

At the Vermont state fair, Rutland, "backstage" at the "girlie" show (LOC)

At the Vermont state fair, Rutland (LOC)

At the Vermont state fair, Rutland (LOC)

At the Vermont state fair, Rutland (LOC)

"Backstage" at the "girlie" show at the Vermont state fair, Rutland (LOC)

PS: If you are ever up Burlington, VT way, make sure you pay a visit to The Shelburne Museum. They have an entire barn dedicated to vintage circus Americana that you have to see to believe! (And they even give out scent strips of eau de popcorn, sawdust, lemonade, and cotton candy for the complete experience. Magic!). Actually, the whole museum is the most incredible place ever, check out the website to see what I mean. 


13 comments:

  1. Love the last photo of the girls and their curls! (also like the new wallpaper background) :)

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  2. These are amazing! Its like glimpsing into the world I love to paint :)

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  3. This is such a GREAT photo post!! I'm DEFINITELY going to spend a few hours of my rainy day off clicking through those archives in a coffee shop! I've been throwing the idea around of joining the circus for a season, haha [hmmmmm.] Also, the new wallpaper is delovely.

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  4. Fantastic photos, so inspiring x

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  5. These photos are wonderful! I love the third and last one!! Wish i could visit that museum though :)
    xxxx

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  6. I've seen a couple of these but not all of them- they're awesome! I love that they're in Rutland. So cool. Also, I went to the Shelburne Museum for the first time last summer and can't wait to get back! it was the coolest museum ever!!!

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  7. In 1939 the carnival was one of the few places where one could see a girl in a skirt that short. And probably the only socially acceptable place at that, haha.

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  8. Oh my these are the most wonderful pics - and in colour!! This is sooooooo weird because I just finished watching the 2nd season of Carnivale on the weekend and have been working on a post too:)). You clearly have exquisite taste in tv dramas - I never watch them on tv as such, I can't bear the ads and the waiting so I do the DVD marathon thing too. So glad you're enjoying it!! xoxo

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  9. Thanks everyone, glad you liked!! :D

    Maya... I am only half joking when I think about running off to the circus, it would be marvelous!

    Michal... yes, the beautiful pictures of the three girls have been making the rounds on Tumblr and blogs for a while, but when I found the whole set, and learned they were local, my love for them doubled!!

    Maria... According to the captions, they're part of the "girlie show"; they probably showed off a lot more later that night!

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  10. OH WOW, these photo's are a dream! I love the three ladies, they look like my kind of girls. xx

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  11. Carnivale is my absolute favourite television series of all time next to Buffy the Vampire Slayer that is! I've watched it around 6 times now and never get bored of it! I ADORE all the props and would love to live in Ruthie's caravan! I was so very annoyed when it got cancelled.. it was a really unique show :(

    I've dreamed many a dream of travelling with a carnival back then. It would have been the most exciting thing to me! It's such a shame that proper carnivals have all but died out now.

    Love these pictures you have found! I'd give anything to own an original circus poster like the ones depicting the human oddities! xxx

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