The American Circus Corporation consisted of the Sells-Floto Circus, the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, the John Robinson Circus, the Sparks Circus, and the Al G. Barnes Circus. It was owned by Jerry Mugivan, Bert Bowers and Ed Ballard. They sold the company in 1929 to John Nicholas Ringling for $1.7 million ($25.6 million today). With that acquisition, Ringling owned virtually every traveling circus in America.[1]

Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus

The Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus was a circus that traveled across America in the early part of the 20th century. At its peak, it was the second-largest circus in America next to Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. It was based in Peru, Indiana.

Al G. Barnes Circus

Al G. Barnes Circus was an American circus run by Alpheus George Barnes Stonehouse.[2]

Sells Floto Circus

The Sells Floto Circus was a combination of the Otto Floto Dog and Pony Show and the Sells Brothers Circus that toured with sideshow acts in the United States during the early 1900s.

John Robinson Circus

The John Robinson Circus was founded by John Robinson and Joseph Foster.[citation needed]

Sparks Circus

Sparks Circus as established by John H. Wiseman (1863-1903). He used the name of Sparks on all of his entertainment shows and legally changed his name to John H. Sparks. He died on January 29, 1903. [3]


  1. ^ "Bailey and the Ringlings". Feld Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2008-07-21. In 1929, reacting to the fact that his competitor, the American Circus Corporation, had signed a contract to perform in New York's Madison Square Garden, Ringling purchased American Circus for $1.7-million . In one fell swoop, Ringling had absorbed five major shows: Sells-Floto, Al G. Barnes, Sparks, Hagenbeck-Wallace, and John Robinson.
  2. ^ "Died". Time. August 3, 1931. Retrieved 2008-07-22. Alpheus George Barnes Stonehouse (Al G. Barnes), 68, circusman, founder and longtime owner of Barnes's Circus; after a lingering illness; in Indio, California. He started his show in 1895 with a pony, a phonograph, a stereopticon. A colorful participant at every performance, he would lead the opening parade seated on the head of a mammoth elephant. Two years ago he sold his interests to Circusman John Ringling for $1,000,000.
  3. ^ Richard Conover (1964). "Introductory Brief History of Sparks Family". Bandwagon, Vol. 8, No. 6 (Nov-Dec). pp. 4–5. Archived from the original on 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2012-11-03.