Images ~ After the Fire
At the fire scene:
At the State Armory (morgue):
Waiting for Heartbreak Hartford, Conn — Although the Hartford Armory didn’t open until 8:30am, grief-stricken relatives lined the sidewalk outside the building from 5:30 on, waiting to identify their dead, who succumbed in the fire which swept through the main tent of the Ringling Bros., Barnum and Bailey circus yesterday (July 6). This shot was taken at 8:00am. Identification of the victims proceeds slowly - many of the bodies are so charred that recognition is impossible. ACME photo, 7-7-44
Waiting to Identify Circus Dead Hartford, Conn — While grief-stricken relatives carry boxes containing the effects of those killed or injured in the tragic circus fire this afternoon, others wait in line for their turn to identify bodies within the State Armory in Hartford. Roaring flame swept the “big top” of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, this afternoon, as some 10,000 — mostly women and children — were enjoying the “greatest show on earth.” Within seconds, the huge tent was a holocaust. The death toll tonight stands at 127 and is expected to approach the 200 mark as many of the injured are not expected to live. ACME photo, 7-6-44
Prayers for Circus Fire Victims Hartford, Conn — Protestant and Catholic churches throughout Hartford offered special prayers today in the tragic circus fire, and for the recovery of 132 others, some of whom are now clinging to life only by the barest of threads. The latest count reveals that the fire took a toll of 153 lives, besides 11 unidentified bodies still in the morgue. There are 29 persons still listed as missing, while 27 hospitalized victims are in a critical condition. Here, in the Christ Cathedral, memorial services are in progress. ACME photo, 7-9-44
Circus workers and performers begin rebuilding equipment upon their return to RBBB winter headquarters in Sarasota, Florida, two weeks after the circus fire.
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus first performance after rebuilding from the fire was at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio on August 4th. Images below show the workers setting up for the show.
July, 1959 AP Newsfeatures photo: At top is photo taken just after the disastrous July 6, 1944 Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey circus at Hartford, Conn. Below is a recent photo of the same area. The numbered areas show  where the big top stood,  the entry from Barbour Street,  a stone works, and  new apartment buildings.