"Flirting and Boisterous Conduct Prohibited" : Women's Work in Wisconsin Circuses: 1890-1930
Reid, Rebecca N.
Pederson, Jane Marie
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Wisconsin was home to more than one hundred circuses, more than any other state. From 1890-1930, the height of circus' popularity, Wisconsin's circuses employed hundreds, perhaps thousands of women. Although their lives and work were vastly different from non-circus women, they were still ruled by regulation and tradition. This paper examines those structures, along with women's roles in the circus, salaries, living conditions and family life. Big top and sideshow performers are discussed, along with their portrayal in popular media, their costumes, and their hobbies. The circus' relation to vaudeville and burlesque is also discussed, along with an analysis of the cooch show and female nudity.
Women employees--Wisconsin--Social conditions--20th century
Women employees--Wisconsin--Social conditions--19th century
Women circus performers--Wisconsin--History
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