The Braathens, Sverre, and Faye were active and avid circus enthusiasts. Sverre’s passion for circus began when he was a boy watching the Gollmar Brothers Circus unload, parade, and perform on the Great Plains in Mayville, North Dakota, in the early 1900s.
Sverre loved circuses, so he began collecting circus music. He developed his photographic skills while following circuses throughout the upper Midwest every season. Throughout the years, his collection grew to include route books, business materials, periodicals, and a great deal of correspondence between all levels of circus personnel – from band members to performers, riggers to roustabouts.
These images date from the early 1940s to the late 1950s and depict clowns, who have always been an essential part of the circus.