Welcome to the State Fair. And not just any state fair, mind you, this is Rutland State Fair in Vermont. It’s one of the very oldest in all America, having been held annually since 1846 — almost 175 years.
This was one big event, boasting not just massive farming displays but also races, rides and — as demonstrated here — some rather extraordinary sideshows. By 1972, the fair had gotten so big it was renamed the Vermont State Fair.
But that was 31 years after these pictures were taken. They are, of course, in color. Not rare, necessarily, in the 1940s, but still remarkable.
All were shot on super clear Kodachrome film, and taken by Jack Delano, a photographer for the Farm Security Administration — later to be the Office for War Information.
All images courtesy of Library of Congress. See more historical photos in the Retronaut archives.