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Souvenir of the Circus

Souvenir of the Circus Event Button Museum
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Souvenir of the Circus button back Event Button Museum
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Black text on blue background with an illustration of a white clown with red lips and black face paint in the center of the button. The clown is wearing a yellow and red outfit and hat.

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Presumably made in the 1940s, this button's colorful aesthetic captures the excitement and spontaneity of a typical trip to the circus for a mid-20th century American youth.

The traveling circus gained popularity in the United States by the mid-to-late 19th century. As per the clowns' role in the American circus—by the 20th century, they were largely speechless characters confined to oversized visual gags. This differed from their European contemporaries, however, whom stuck to their theatrical roots and remained integral parts of the show. 

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