Engford Costumes

The Engfords have created their own costumes as well as sewn them for the entire 100+ years of their careers! Amanda Engford began this tradition out of necessity. Amanda passed this skill on to her daughter Florence. When her son Harry married Lois, a "farm girl" already an accomplished seamstress, this art was passed along. Lois and Florence in turn taught Ruthie this skill. Ruthie is proud of the fact that she designed and made all of her costumes as well as her husband Frank's.

Robert & Amanda

The first two costumes below are Robert and Amanda from the early 1900’s. The next two are, on the left one of Amanda's costumes. She is described as a "tiny" woman. The doll is 34 inches tall! The clown costume is Harry's from the Forges Bros. act. Robert performed in this act and wore a similar costume.

Florence Engford

Florence began performing about 6 years old. "Baby Florence" was her first named act. The first photo is of this act. The second photo was a costume used for the Engford Musical Review.

Harry Engford

Harry, Lois and Ruthie wore many costumes. These three are from promotional photos ranging from 1948 through 1965. The second set of photos are perhaps the last photos of the three Engfords.

first photo   second photo
third photo

Ruthie Engford

Ruthie Engford developed her own acts while still performing with her parents. This photo is Ruthie Engford's "Slide for Life" costume. This was performed at Circus World Museum during the summer of 1965 at 4:45pm.

 

Frank Clark

Frank began performing in the 1953 with the "Noble Trio". He began his headstanding trapeze act as "Francarro" in the 1963.

Ruthie & Frank Clark -- "Francarro & Estreleta"

The Francarros

Frank and Ruthie also performed a foot juggling act.

The Brigadier

This comedy act was the last act that Ruthie and Frank performed.

     

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