Comments Off on Ringling Bros. Rode the Rails in Style

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Source: Wall Street Journal

By STUART FERGUSON

Seeing Henry Morrison Flagler and John Ringling’s private railroad cars — their interiors, furniture and opalescent glass skylights gleaming from recent renovations — you’d never know that by the 1950s one had become housing for migrant farm workers, and another a fishing shack. Now, thanks to the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Fla., and the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Fla., visitors can get a glimpse of the lives of tycoons whose careers were so closely intertwined with rail travel.

Flagler (1830-1913) created the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC), and Ringling (1866-1936) was advance man for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, owned by him and four of his six brothers. Both men used their cars for business and only incidentally for pleasure.

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