ELLIS GIMBEL The department store magnate invites needy children to the circus. TLS: “Ellis A. Gimbel”, 1p, 6½x8½. Philadelphia, 1938 May 2. On his personal stationery featuring two colorful clowns. To Superintendent. In part: “I would like to invite the children under your care, to my Circus Party, Monday May 23rd…Tell the children for me that the Circus is more wonderful than ever. A big tiger walks around the Tent – a man leads her around on a chain just like a dog! Tell them they’ll see Frank Buck himself – he’s in the Parade too, and he rides an elephant just the way he does when he is hunting lions and tigers in India and jaguars in Africa. He’ll show how he actually brings the animals back alive. Gargantua the Great will be at the Circus – he’s the biggest Gorilla ever! And the Midget who scared the Tiger will be there, too. And more elephants…MORE CLOWNS…more horses…more everything! And a Wild West Show besides. The Circus will be at 11th Street and Erie Avenue, as usual. When you do invite the children, tell them I’ll be looking for them at the Circus.” Adam Gimbel, a German immigrant who came to the United States in 1835, founded a department store in Philadelphia in 1894. ELLIS GIMBEL was the last of the original Gimbel brothers who organized the world’s largest department store chain. Inviting children to the circus was an annual tradition, apparently relished by Gimbel judging by his description of the acts and the clowns on his stationery. The department store chain kept records of the yearly events, including how many children attended in each group, and often offered other treats – such as ice cream – to the attendees. Lightly yellowed overall. Tiny stain above 1 word in text, else fine condition. – Please contact us if you have any questions or require additional information. HFSID 190524
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