Michael Leddy writes:
In an introduction to the 2010 New York Review Books reprint of Nightmare Alley [a fine novel — mark], Nick Tosches notes that as late as 1960, Billboard ran geek-wanted ads in its carnival section. Yes, Billboard had a carnival section. So off I went to Google Books. Here are three geek-related Billboard ads.
One example is above.
Below, a couple of short items from 1942 and 1943 issue of Billboard: