SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Society Clowns: 1923

Society Clowns: 1923

A "society circus" held on April 4, 1923, most likely in the vicinity of Washington, D.C. From the National Photo Company collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

B. Google under the hat?

I'm going to surmise that the broad-brimmed hat clown is supposed to be Barney Google, given what seems to be strange eye makeup, and the "Spark Plug" label on the horse.

A different Barney and Spark Plug made an appearance a few months later. (Shorpy #4445)


when I was little I was scared of clowns, except Bozo.

Scary looking clowns....

They probably could scare the be-jesus out of little kids,
especially the guy with the wide brimed hat: "mamma I had another nightmare about them clowns, can I sleep with you and daddy?"

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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