Huckster, Barkers, and Sideshows

Lawrence Percolator

See! and Hear! how the hucksters, barkers, and sideshow workers of Kansas plied their craft. This talk explores the businessmen, eccentrics, and entrepreneurs who took their work to the smallest communities across the country with transient show-based setups, selling entertainment, promise, and miracle cures and shaping how we hype, advertise, and “turn the tip.” From the carnival and sideshow culture of Kinsley (Midway, USA) to the infamous “goat gland doctor” John R. Brinkley of Milford, you’ll be Amazed! and Awed! at their inventiveness and chutzpah.

Erika Nelson is an independent artist, educator, and director of World's Largest
Things, Inc. She received her MFA in Textiles from the University of Kansas. Erika's interests include roadside attractions and outsider art environments. She explores the back roads of the United States in search of the odd and unique in her mobile museum, the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things. When not on the road, Erika promotes and participates in her adopted home community of Lucas, through scholarly articles, art projects, and community initiatives.

This event is free and is brought to you through the Kansas Humanities Council.


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