Royal American Shows operated all the rides, games and sideshows at the Minnesota State Fair’s Midway for decades before its garish lights went out for good in the late 1990s. Show founder Carl J. Sedlmayr was known as “the King of the Carnival.” Royal American’s attractions included rides such as the Wild Mouse; a burlesque show that featured Gypsy Rose Lee; a “live” freak show; a 700-year-old tortoise named Gussie and four – count ’em, four! – Ferris wheels. Sedlmayr's son, Carl Jr., and grandson, Carl III, took the reins after his death in 1965. All three donned freshly pressed suits before climbing aboard a State Fair carousel for the Star and Tribune photo below.
Three generations of carnival showmen – Carl J. Sedlmayr, his son Carl Jr. and grandson Carl III – took a spin on a carousel at the Minnesota State Fair in August 1954. The elder Sedlmayr, president and general manager of the Royal American Shows and a former newspaper carrier himself, donated hundreds of State Fair tickets to Star and Tribune carriers in the early 1950s.