Fonds MS-4-218 - The Bill Lynch Shows fonds

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The Bill Lynch Shows fonds

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  • [after 1924], 1941-1985 (Creation)

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Physical description

30 cm of textual records (2 boxes). - 68 photographs. - 1 folder. - 1 photograph imprinted on a metal plate. - 28 tickets. - 6 receipts books. - 15 technical drawings : blueprints.

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Custodial history

William P. (Bill) Lynch was born on August 25, 1900, and moved to McNabs Island in 1905 with his family, Matthew and Josephine (Palmer) Lynch. After the Halifax Explosion in 1917 greatly damaged the island and destroyed business for existing carnivals, Lynch decided to bring back the shows and purchased his first merry-go-round in 1920. He managed the ride alone until 1924, when he partnered with Ray Rogers and began to travel around Nova Scotia, establishing the Bill Lynch Shows in 1925. The partnership did not last, but by 1928, he had acquired a few concessions and a ferris wheel. In 1929, Lynch won the bid for the Halifax exhibition, and was asked to return in 1930.

The Bill Lynch Shows eventually became Canada’s biggest carnival by 1940, and was the only carnival to ever be exclusively operated out of Atlantic Canada. It included acts such as the Three Maldos, the Rooneys, and Flash McHugh. Lynch was passionate about working with children with disabilities, giving them special days to visit the empty carnival for free and donating to children’s charities.

Bill Lynch died on October 23, 1972, with 52 years in the carnival business. Clarence “Soggy” Reid operated the business until his death in 1995, when John Drummey took over until its eventual sale.

The Bill Lynch Shows were split up into Maritime Amusements and Carnival Time in 2003.

Scope and content

Fonds contains the business papers, photographs, and carnival documents from the Bill Lynch Shows. The business papers consist of financial records, including daily reports, receipts, and invoices, correspondence both personal and professional, catalogues, letterhead and blank forms, and commercial scripts. The photographs include prints, cardboard imprints, and a metal plate, and were mostly taken of various aspects of the Bill Lynch Shows but also include a technical maintenance photograph for a ride. The carnival documents include complimentary Shows passes, act and ride information, and blueprints.

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  • English

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More photographs of the Bill Lynch Shows are located at MS-4-250, Box 87, Folder 10 (Wamboldt-Waterfield Photographic Collection).

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