P.T. Barnum – Detail of an engraving from the Connecticut Historical Society
P.T. (Phineas Taylor) Barnum (1810-1891)
Best known as an entertainer and promoter, Connecticut native Phineas Taylor Barnum was also an author, philanthropist, businessman, and politician. He served in the Connecticut legislature and, as Bridgeport’s mayor, spearheaded numerous city improvement initiatives, including Seaside Park. He also helped found the Bridgeport Hospital in 1878. Barnum, as a showman, was known for promoting hoaxes and human curiosities, such as General Tom Thumb and the “Feejee” mermaid, at his American Museum in New York City. He later founded what became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Loved the world over, Barnum died in his sleep and was buried in Bridgeport’s Mountain Grove Cemetery.
Once declared “the most widely known American that ever lived,” this showman's life story is as colorful as the entertainments he provided to curiosity seekers in the mid-1800s. …[more]
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