Barnum's American Museum

Inaugurated by Phileas Taylor Barnum on 1841 in the corner of Broadway and Ann Street, in New York, this building included the biggest collection of rare objects and phenomena never seen before around the world, and presented different plays and conferences.

Barnum's American Museum with P.T. Barnum, Feejee Mermaid, Tom Thumb and Jo Jo

P.T. Barnum Biography

(1810-1891) - Phineas Taylor Barnum was born in Connecticut and after establishing several businesses he started his career in show business when he bought a octogenarian slave and presented her to the public as "the 161 years old nanny of George Washington". Then he opened his American Museum where, showing phenomena and several frauds, Barnum became really wealthy. In 1872 he came into the business of the circus and became a partner of the Ringling Brothers to create what he advertised as "The biggest show on earth". Barnum created
the magniloquent and fraudulent way to advertise that we know nowadays.

Feejee Mermaid Biography

The creation of false mermaids attaching fish tails to the body of monkeys has existed since many centuries ago. The most famous of these dissected freaks was acquired in Fiji Islands by a sailor that exhibited it in England with great success. Barnum bought in 1842 and thanks to its extraordinary talent as a promoter he was able to make this fraud a great success, generating big controversy among those who assured that mermaids did exist and people who did not believe in them.

Tom Thumb Biography

(1838-1883) - Charles Sherwood Stratton was born in Connecticut. When he was six months old he was 25 inches tall and stopped growing. When Barnum was 5 years old, he talked his parents into letting him participate in their show. Renamed as General Tom Thumb, he became a great star that fascinated the American and European audience, including some royalty members. When he was nine years old, he grew again although extremely slowly. At 24 he was 2 feet 11 inches tall and never grew again. His wedding with dwarf Lavinia Warren has been one of the most advertised weddings in history. Tiny General Tom Thumb has been the most
famous and wealthy dwarf of all times.

"Jo Jo" Biography

(1868-1904) - Fyodor Yevtishchev was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia and got hypertricosis from his father. He worked with his father in several circuses until he was hired by Barnum in 1884. Although Fyodor was smart and cultured and even spoke three languages really well, Barnum presented him to the American public as a wild man that had been captured in a cave in Siberia, and in his performances he growled
and barked to amaze the audience.

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