The Ralph Rodgers and Percy Turner Circus Collection documents the collective interests of a circus model builder/ miniature
circus owner and a real circus owner who became friends and whose circus memorabilia ended up with a mutual friend who donated
them to USC. The collection contains ephemera, correspondence, photographs, books, records, costumes, and a large amount of
circus model plans and drawings kept by Ralph Rodgers. A portion of the collection represents the history of the Percy Turner
Circus, one of the first circuses owned by an African-American based in the southern California area.
The Turner Brothers Circus (aka Turner Brothers Dog and Pony show) was created by Percy Turner in 1958. (There are Articles
of Incorporation for the Turner Bros. Dog and Pony Show showing a date of June 5, 1959.)Ralph Rodgers, whose "day job" was as a gas service man for San Diego Gas & Electric, was an avid circus model builder and
lifelong circus devotee. He spent his lifetime learning about the circus, following all the circuses--figuratively and later
literally-- and becoming friends with many of the well-known circus performers and clowns of the day, many of whom were also
76.0 Linear feet
71 boxes, 2 metal trunks
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.