Originally posted on First Night Design

Forget Ancient Rome, often cited as the origin of circus entertainment. A certain Englishman, Philip Astley (1742 – 1814), who had been a sergeant major in the Cavalry, was responsible for the entertainment we know today. It was Astley who found that if he galloped in circles he could produce such a centrifugal force that it enabled him to perform extraordinary stunts upon the horse and thus outdo other trick riders of the day.

Astley performed in public for the first time on 9th January, 1768. He was so successful that he gathered other equestrians to him and, later, acrobats, musicians…

via First Night Design | Interval at the Circus

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