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The Prince of Humbugs

March 15, 2011

Banded Humbugs at Pixie's Garden, Ribbon Reef, Queensland

Image Credit: Erik Schlögl, The Light Aquatic

P.T. Barnum: Showman or Shaman?
 
Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891) described himself as the “Prince of Humbug,” an epithet he more than earned during his long career as a showman. Barnum is best remembered today for the circus that still bears his name (and for the animal crackers named after him), but before the circus he was the proprietor of a New York museum, and it was this museum that initially made him rich and famous.  Read more…..
 
 

An Astrologists Point of View
Most of us think of PT Barnum as a showman. And in that, we would all of us be so very  correct. What he may also be is the grandfather of all advertising, great uncle of  propaganda and great grandfather of spin. Read more….

 

 

 
P.T. Barnum was right about his Mummy
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Circus showman P.T. Barnum wasn’t fooling. The Egyptian mummy in his museum is for real. A pair of imaging experts who specialize in mummies have confirmed that the mummy — Pa-Ib — was a real person.

Barnum’s second wife had donated the mummy to the museum in 1892. The mummy is supposedly that of an Egyptian priest who lived more than 2,500 years ago. Read more…..

The Feejee Mermaid

In mid-July, 1842, an English gentleman named “Dr. J. Griffin”, a member of the British Lyceum of Natural History, arrived in New York City bearing a remarkable curiosity — a real mermaid supposedly caught near the Feejee Islands in the South Pacific. The press were expecting him, since throughout the Summer they had been receiving letters from Southern correspondents describing the doctor and his mermaid. So when he checked in to his hotel, reporters were waiting for him, demanding to see the mermaid. Grudgingly he obliged. What they saw totally convinced them of the creature’s authenticity. Read more…..
  
  
Perhaps his most famous leg-pull was his “This Way to the Egress” sign. Curiosity seekers, thinking the ‘egress’ was some kind of unusual exhibit, followed the signs to it until they came, eventually, to a door that led them outside. Then they had to pay admission to get back in. “
P.T. Barnum on Life in the 19th Century
 
My friends: Among all the varied scenes of an active and eventful life, crowded with strange incidents of struggle and excitement, of joy and sorrow, taking me often through foreign lands and bringing me face to face with the King in his palace

Phineas Taylor “P. T.” Barnum
Matthew Brady photo c. 1855-65

and the peasant in his turf-covered hut, I have invariably cherished with most affectionate remembrance the place of my birth, the old village meeting house, without steeple or bell, where in its square family pew I sweltered in summer and shivered through my Sunday-school lessons in winter, and the old schoolhouse where the ferule, the birchen rod and rattan did active duty, and which deserved and received a liberal share. I am surprised to find that I can distinctly remember events which occurred before I was four years old. Read more…..

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