Friday, November 10, 2006

Paul Wenzel

Photo courtesy of the Pfening Circus Archives

Today we look at Paul Wenzel.

Wenzel was born in 1878, clowned for over 60 years all over the country with shows large and small before finally finding a permanent home with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

He was tall (6'4"), thin and easily identifiable in his yellow plaid clown suits and his fright wig. He seemed to prefer working with geese and excelled at the eccentric art of crafting elaborate props and costumes made of piano wire an silk.

He even created huge silk and wire costumes for the Ringling elephants, transforming them into such things as enormous clowns and butterflies over the years.

His props and costumes can be seen in Cecil B. DeMille's THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.

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