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Circus swing, Boston, 1853

Contributed by Maine Historical Society and Maine State Museum
MMN Item 101065 Item Details
Circus swing, Boston, 1853
MMN Item 101065 Zoom


John Martin (1823-1904) of Bangor wrote about and illustrated his recollections of a circus he attended at the Boston Commons on July 4, 1853.

Martin, an accountant and shopkeeper who kept meticulous records and, probably, notes, wrote a journal and three scrapbooks reflecting on his life and experiences. This illustration of the circus swing is from page 14 of his Scrap and Sketch Book that he began writing on June 14, 1864.

Of the circus swing, he wrote, "The introduction of swing exercises on a rope as below commenced in this Circus which was as wonderful as any feats were conducted with taste and pride. In this exercise a boy hung one leg over the lower cross piece at figure 2 and another jumped down from figure 1 and come astride of the boys leg at 2 say 7 feet the boy at 2 sustaining him without breaking his leg."

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