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Dave Blood's Erector-Built Circus Tent Pole Wagon

Hi folks, Doc here. This time around Dave has submitted his version of a circus tent pole wagon from the early part of the 20th century. These wagons, designed to carry the myriad of poles that supported the various show tents, were common sights on county roads as circuses and carnivals moved from town to town between shows. Below is one example, very similar to the model that Dave designed. Similar wagons are shown in the photo at the bottom of the page. Now, enjoy Dave's model.

Al G. Barnes Circus, 1935: eight horse hitch pulling one of the pole wagons.

Dave writes: "I was always a circus fan, especially during the days of the circus under the 'Big Top'. I decided to build a model of a typical circus tent pole wagon from the turn of the century using 1913 parts as much possible. The model was made using 1913 girders, wheels, base plates, circle plate, axle rods and other miscellaneous parts. The wagon poles were formed from axle rods with P40 screw eyes from 1914 soldered into drilled holes at the ends of the axle rods.

The driver and his brakeman sat side-by-side on the bench seat. The brakes on this model actually work. The singletrees were made from 1914 P23s attached by an uncataloged part to perforated strips. The safety chains were not in sets until 1920; however, they were required for this model. Also, knowledgeable collectors will notice that I used screws and nuts to fasten the 1913 No. 16 large wheels to the frame. The 1913 clips provided to hold the wheels to the axle did not work so well."

This photo shows brake details.

This shows the 5th wheel and front axle details.

This photo shows belly boxes and spare wheel.

This photo shows the assembly of the wagon poles and singletrees for an 8-horse hitch.

This photo shows a Mack truck pulling two pole wagons in 1936.