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William Cameron Coup

William Cameron Coup

Aug. 4, 1836 – March 4, 1895


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Cameron Coup (August 4, 1836 – March 4, 1895) was a Wisconsin businessman who partnered with P. T. Barnum and Dan Castello in 1871 to form the "P. T. Barnum's Museum, Menagerie and Circus". Previously Barnum had a museum at a fixed location in New York City and the traveling circus allowed him to bring his curiosities to more paying customers. Coup's innovations were the circus train to transport the materials from town to town. He also came up with the concept of adding a second ring in 1872 and a third ring to the circus in 1881 to allow ;more people to view the events.

He was born on August 4, 1836 in Mount Pleasant, Indiana. After his mother died in 1849 he moved from Martin County, Indiana to Terre Haute, Indiana, where he worked as a printer. In 1853, he joined Mabies' Grand Olympian Arena and U.S. Circus, where he worked as the side show manager. Between 1866 and 1869 he managed the Yankee Robinson Circus then moved to a farm in Delavan, Wisconsin.

Dan Castello suggested he work with P. T. Barnum. On April 10, 1871, Coup and Barnum created "P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Circus and Hippodrome" in Brooklyn, New York.

In 1876 he opened the New York Aquarium and later organized "The Equescurriculum", "The New United Monster Shows" and several touring Wild West Shows.

He lost most of his equipment in a train wreck near Cairo, Illinois in 1887.

He died in Jacksonville, Florida on March 4, 1895.

Circuses Owned

W. C. Coup's Circus (1885–1889)
W. C. Coup's Rolling Palaces
Coup's Equescurriculum
W. C. Coup's New United Monster Shows
Coup's 10 Consolidated Shows




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