Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/161

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
131
PARADES AND BAND WAGONS

is disposed of to the paper manufacturers at about one and one-half cents the pound.

The same rule of enforced replenishment applies to wardrobe and general paraphernalia. In this way a beginner in the circus business may, by judicious investment in second-hand bargains, start out with a very fair outfit secured at a much smaller cost than if he were compelled to purchase everything new. And, in this connection, let me say that I know of no other business enterprise in which new material costs so much, and when sold at second-hand realizes so little. One of the largest shows ever organized in this country, and which was reputed to be worth more than half a million dollars, was inventoried on the death of one of the proprietors, with a view to selling the estate of the deceased, and, to the great surprise of the executors, was found to reach in value only about $200,000.

Twenty years ago a show with a daily expenditure of $250 was thought extravagant, while fifty years ago a circus whose receipts averaged sixty dollars a day was considered to be doing a good business. To-day there is one show the expenses of which are undoubtedly more than $3,500 a day, although it is surprising what wonderful displays are made by