The Most Famous American of the 19th Century? | The Circus

The Most Famous American of the 19th Century? | The Circus


Phineas Taylor Barnum, properly known as P.T. Barnum, was a showman. An incredible self-promoter, an incredible publicist. He was probably the most famous American of the 19th century. P.T. Barnum was born in Connecticut. He was kind of a poor kid. His father died when he was 15 and he was determined not to make a living, as he would say, by the sweat of his brow. In 1841 he has the opportunity to buy a museum and he totally revolutionizes it. He exhibits animals, live performances. He created the matinée. And it’s tremendously successful. He made a little bit of a name for himself. P.T. Barnum eventually hooks up with James Bailey and together they would create the circus that became known as the Barnum & Bailey Circus. He knew how to exaggerate. He knew how to stretch truths. He fabricated things. Together with his partners he realized You could make more money If you traveled from one large town to the next …on the rails….if you travel by train. And this was an incredibly important step In the development of American circus.

Dereck Turner

2 thoughts on “The Most Famous American of the 19th Century? | The Circus

  1. Raphael roudon says:

    J'ai pas tout compris mais dacord

  2. Wardenwarden warden says:

    I am bumfuzzled by his hucksterism and minstrelsy.

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