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Bird Millman: Tight Rope Walker

This photo was taken in Chicago in 1922.

Bird Millman, was world renowned tight rope walker best known for her performances in Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey. She lived through the “Golden Age of American Circus,” born in 1890 and died in 1940. She grew up amongst the chaos of mudshows(small circus’) and from there entered the world of vaudeville with her parents. In 1904, they became the Millman Trio, where they took off in big vaudeville shows in many famous theaters. By 1913, she was one of the main attractions for Barnum & Bailey. in 1916, she spent her slow season performing in Ziegfeld’s Follies. She was very successful as a performer, but less as a wife. She was married three times, all which ended quickly. When she was 49, she moved back to her native state, Colorado, with her mother, and died shortly after of uterine cancer.