Step Right Up, Folks! — When Circus Promoters and Show-Folk Shopped the Pages of “The Billboard”

Whether you trod the boards in the theatrical world or slogged through the sawdust on the carnival circuit, “The Billboard” was essential reading for keeping up with news and employment opportunities in the show-biz world. Almost everything you needed could be found in the magazine’s classified and advertising pages. Check out some of the more interesting ads found in issues from 1904 and 1905.

The Tree Wireless — 1919

Using living trees as antennas was an important element of inventor Maj.-Gen George O. Squier’s system of telephony, which was developed for use during WWI as a way to intercept enemy messages which had been electrically transmitted, as well as to receive and transmit messages from just anywhere with a living tree nearby. More about Squier’s odd-sounding “tree wireless” inside.

The Mosquito Bar

Mosquito bars were serious business in the days before wire screens covered windows and doors. If you expected to get an insect-bite-free night’s sleep without having to rub yourself with kerosene, a mosquito bar was essential. See a variety of them as depicted in fine art, popular art, and photography.