Circus Day at last! What excitement and anticipation spread throughout the town! A trip in the early hours to the railroad yards to watch the unloading of the wagons, animals, etc., and then the rumbling caravan's long trek to the Circus grounds. If you were lucky, you got a job hauling water to the thirsty elephants although it seemed as if the trips to the water tap to fill the buckets would never end. At last you were given a pass for the performance. The first thing you did was walk slowly through the Menagerie tent to look at the strange and intriguing animals. Most of these you had seen only in books. What a thrill! Next, the CIRCUS CALLIOPE(CALYOPE) was playing, warning the town that the Circus performance would soon begin and the people began scurrying to the grounds.
Taking a seat, you hoped you would be able to see every bit of the fascinating acts. The great music began with a heraldic sound and the Ringmaster announced the Grand Entry. Prancing horses, lumbering pachyderms, bouncing clowns, lovely ladies, and handsome men paraded around the tent. A tremor of excitement goes through your body - the Circus is beginning! The mighty music from the CIRCUS CALYOPE continues and changes pace with the various acts - moving marches, lively gallops, beautiful ballads, and wonderful waltzes. Only too soon the tremendous Circus was over.
Long after the Circus has gone its way, passages of familiar tunes come back with a haunting tilt or strain to nudge the memory of a marvelous day at the Circus. Brought back are the smell of the hot popcorn, the feel of gooey candy apples, the distinctive odor of the Menagerie and tanbark, the menacing crack of the whip, the Ringmaster's spiel, and the waves of happy laughter rippling throughout the tent, along with the oh's and ah's heard during some spectacular aerial act.
This wonderful CIRCUS CALLIOPE (CALYOPE) is a Wurlitzer Caliola with 44 wood pipes and is ideal for Circuses as it has a beautiful tone and remarkable volume. It plays from a paper roll or may be played manually from the keyboard on the back, creating beautiful musical effects. This machine was made in 1928 and uses the regular 65-note Wurtitzer roll. Operated by a 1/2 h.p. motor.
Specifications: Height to top of scroll, 5 feet 4 inches; height without scroll, 4 feet 8 inches. Width, 3 feet 7 1/2 inches; depth, 2 feet 10 inches. Weight, 435 tbs. with coun tershaft and drive wheel. 44-note keyboard for hand playing. 44 pipes.
Paul Eakins obtained the machine from the estate of a Showman and immediately restored it to its now brilliant state in both appearance and sound. The case is a bright red and the fine gold scrolls are hand-carved. The front screen depicts a colorful Flamenco dancer scene. The raised panel on the lower front has a peaceful take and mountain scene.
For five and one-half months the CIRCUS CALLIOPE (CALYOPE) was on location at the New York World's Fair at the Ringling Museum of the Circus. Along with another calliope belonging to Eakins, it was shown and furnished the music for an hour-long spectacular on "PT Barnum and the Circus" on NBC-TV. The "Circus Reminiscence" exhibition at the famous Hallmark Gallery on 5th Avenue played the music of this CIRCUS CALLIOPE (CALYOPE) during the entire show from March 2 to April 29, 1966 via tape, adding to the nostalgic realism. Millions heard and saw this striking machine on both the "Today" Show and the "Tonight" Show on NBC-TV. Among other triumphant appearances was a 10-day participation in a special exhibition at Madison Square Garden; being featured on ABC-TV and NBC-TV News Specials; and shown at the great Midsouth Fair in Memphis, Tennessee.