From Kook Science
William "Billy" Nelson was an American showman who performed and managed circuses, sideshows, carnivals, in addition to acting as a manufacturer of sideshow attractions through his Nelson Supply House in South Boston, Massachusetts. Nelson's touring career included a stint as a manager with Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show and later working the sideshow of the combination Buffalo Bill & Pawnee Bill "Two Bills Show" in the early years of the twentieth century.
Nelson Supply House
- 514 E. 4th St., South Boston, 27, Mass., U.S.A.
- Manufacturer of MUMMIFIED CURIOSITIES. "Strange, Remarkable, Curiosities and Monstrosities, both Animal and Human, Mummified Reproductions of the World's Greatest Side Show Wonders who once lived and were exhibited alive. As well as Wonderful Imaginary Wonders conceived by the mind of man." // "I Sell only Main Features, Star Attractions for Museums, Side Shows, Five, Ten, Twenty and Thirty in One Show, and Supply Shows, Parks, and Carnivals in all parts of the World, and will Ship Good to any Civilized Clime on Earth that a Transportation Company will Reach."
As published c. 1921
- Capuwar the Two-Headed Giant
- Jack-A-Loo-Pa the Three-Face Man
- Two-Headed Chinese Pa-La-Cu
- Labow, the Egyptian Double Boy
- Mermaid or Alligator Boy
- Indian Woman and Child, Mummified, Over 6000 Years Old
- The Moa or Devil Bird, an Elephant Footed Wingless Monster
- The "Prehistoric Woman": "The Last Representative of the LOST TRIBE of RED HEADED INDIANS Over 20,000 Years Old, Found in a Cliff Dwellers."
- "Detectives Take Mummies and Hold Two Exhibitors: Patrol Wagon Acts As Hearse When 'Bodies' Are Moved to City Hall; Scientific Examination to Be Made Today By Professor Smith, Dr. Childs", The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Georgia): 1, 25 Oct. 1932, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/117720456/detectives-take-mummies-and-hold-two/ — regarding the seizure of a sideshow gaff, a "naked mother clasping a big-headed baby", by police at Indian Springs, Georgia. The gaff was "exhumed" by one Leonard J. Gregory at his farm and put on exhibit for several months prior to the police action, having been apparently, according to chief detective T. E. Garrett, purchased from the Nelson Supply House of South Boston, Mass.
- Billy Nelson's Circus (Museum, Menagerie and Wild West), c. 1891[i]
- Palace Theater in Manchester, New Hampshire, c. 1900
- Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show, 1902
- Down-Town Wagon Show with Miller Brothers' 101 Ranch Wild West, 1908[ii]
- Two Bills Show, 1911[iii]
- Stencell, A. W. (2002), Seeing Is Believing: America’s Side Shows, Toronto, Ont.: ECW Press, p. 39–42, 84, https://www.amazon.com/Seeing-Believing-Americas-Sideshows-Stencell/dp/1550225294/?tag=apopheniacs-20
- ↑ Billy Nelson's - 1891-92, 1894-95, 1912, https://www.classic.circushistory.org/History/BriefM.htm
- ↑ Per Billboard of 18 Apr. 1908, https://www.classic.circushistory.org/History/Billboard1907.htm
- ↑ The "Two Bills Show" was a merger of Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Pawnee Bill's Wild West shows. Nelson seems to have worked the sideshow, per the New York Clipper, https://www.classic.circushistory.org/Clipper/Clipper1910s.htm