|Text on Button||Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus Madison Square Garden|
Color illustration of a clown with black text on the top and bottom edge on a bright yellow background
|Year / Decade Made|
This button is a souvenir from one of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey performances at Madison Square Garden and may have sported ribbons at one point. The circus has long been associated with this particular venue, as Barnum rented Cornelius Vanderbilt's old Madison Avenue railroad train sheds in 1874 to house his Monster Classical and Geological Hippodrome arena. The arena showcased chariot races, a museum, and a variety of performers. Vanderbilt repurchased the property in 1879 and christened it Madison Square Garden. On March 29, 1919, the arena hosted the inaugural performance of the combined Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey show, and the circus revisits this location every year.