Led by two horses, the Barnum and Bailey "Queen's Float" majestically traverses through a dirt road in an unspecified location while on display for a parade. The coachman, dressed in a simple, dark uniform, sits on the edge of the wagon with a stern expression on his face. The wagon is predominantly white and embellished with golden designs. A horn-like structure surrounds the wagon on the left and right sides, functioning as a fence despite its obscure design. Five riders dressed in ornate garb with feathered headdresses are positioned around the queen's throne, as if they are guarding their majesty. The queen sits proudly atop her throne wearing an elegant white dress and head piece. Contrasting from the ostentatious design of the float, two simple wooden houses and a dull forest can be seen in the background.
The Queen's Float provides an example of how culture is often celebrated and admired during festivals. Since olden times, traveling has been a luxury that only a few people can afford, but Barnum and Bailey allowed culture to be appreciated even by the lower class: floats provided a means for common people to explore the world without leaving their town. As is the case in this photograph, Barnum and Bailey was able to showcase the intricacies of another culture through a well-decorated wagon, complete with fabulous costumes worn by its staff.
From the collection of Fred Bodin of Gloucester MA. Fred was a long time resident and well-known photographer of Gloucester and had one of the best private collections of New England nautical photographs in private hands. Fred was a photojournalist having graduated with this degree from Syracuse University and worked for Yankee Magazine. Fred passed away in 2016 and HIP purchased his collection from his estate.