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Circus manager’s travelling office

Made 1925-1940

This portable office was used by George Anderson, General Manager of Wirths’ Circus. It illustrates how circus people adapted to their travelling lifestyle.

The Wirth name has a special place in Australian circus folklore. Billed as Australia’s own ‘greatest show on earth’, the Wirth Brothers’ Circus was indeed one of the world’s great circuses. The Wirths’ Circus collection documents the family’s involvement in the business from the 1870s until 1963.

The sons of a German immigrant, the Wirth ...


Object No.


Physical Description

A piece of portable furniture in the form of a wooden travelling box with metal handles, hooks, locks and other parts. The doors open to reveal three drawers and pigeon holes of various sizes and compartments for filing documents. Text in gold paint on top 'Mr Geo Anderson, General Manager. Wirths Circus Ltd'.



490 mm


720 mm


370 mm



Used by George 'Papa' Anderson, General Manager of Wirths' Circus. Anderson was with Wirth's as early as 1888, as schoolmaster, tutoring the young members of the troupe. There is a reference to him filling in as a cowboy performer in New Zealand in 1890, when the real cowboys abandoned the circus. By 1914, probably much earlier, he was involved in the management of the circus. He was listed as Business Manager in 1924-1925 and as General Manager in 1927.

Kept by Marizles ('Rill') Wirth, the youngest child of Philip Wirth, until her death in 2007. Donated to the Powerhouse Museum by her nieces Margaret and Georgina Wirth.


Credit Line

Gift of the Wirth family, 2012

Acquisition Date

3 September 2012

Cite this Object


Circus manager's travelling office 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 July 2018, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Circus manager's travelling office |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 July 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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