Posts Tagged ‘carnival poster’

Billy Lynch shows

Bill Lynch Shows Carnival Poster. Photo via Halls Auction Services

This vintage advertisement for Bill Lynch Greater Exposition Shows recalls the days when some big carnivals had bill posters lining fences and filling windows with circus-style paper ahead of the show’s arrival. The artist’s fantastic aerial view of the midway features a beautiful girl whirling on a chair-o-plane high above the other amusement rides. Measuring 25 inches high by 38.5 inches wide, the one-sheet was printed by Erie Litho & Printing Company in Pennsylvania. It’s up for sale on March 17 at Hall’s Auction Services in Calgary with online bidding available. The pre-sale estimate is $1,000-$1,500.

According to an article in the Billboard, Lynch was a Nova Scotian who bought his first amusement ride–a steam-powered merry-go-round that operated on his native McNab Island– in 1920. He was just 18 years old. By 1928, Lynch had his own traveling carnival playing still-dates with a merry-go-round, Ferris Wheel, chair-o-plane, three shows and a string of concessions.

Bill Lynch’s big break came when he won the bid to bring his carnival to Nova Scotia’s Halifax Exhibition in 1929. The contract required seven rides and seven shows. Over the winter and spring, Lynch managed to double the size of his midway by borrowing or buying equipment and the show opened to great fanfare in Halifax. In 1935, it took 14 railroad cars to transport the carnival, which by then was also touring Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

The March 17th auction at Hall’s consists of items from the 40-year personal collection of “Canadian Picker” Scott Cozens. The auction will be filmed for a future broadcast of “Canadian Pickers” on the History Channel.


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