The 1930s were one of the most active decades for the sideshow business, with more than 300 carnival shows on the road, and a dozen (or more) large traveling store shows decamping throughout the country in the winter season.

1932 was the year of the first Ripley's "Believe-It-Or-Not" show at the Century of Progress in Chicago, with John Hix's "Strange As I Seems" a formidable competing freakshow, as well as several smaller shows at the fair. Each of these "still" fair shows spawned their own traveling shows when the fair ended in 1934.