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Friday, January 16, 2009

Barnum Museum - Bridgeport, Connecticut

Here is The Barnum Museum of Bridgeport, Connecticut. From its opening in 1893 to the present, this unique museum presents a fascinating picture of American popular history and culture, named for that most fascinating of showmen, P.T. Barnum, who died in 1891.

Though we equate Mr. Barnum with the circus world, he was actually 61 years old before he became involved with the circus. He was, among other things, the founder of the American Museum in New York City in 1842. The Bethel, Connecticut native made his career, and his life, a journey of grasping at opportunity, churning out publicity, and celebrating the possibilities of enterprise in a young and vigorous nation.

Barnum’s American Museum was one of the first such cultural entertainments presented before a still-Puritan-minded America dubious about the worth, or propriety of such exhibits. Here he showcased exhibits of nature, music, art, and history.

Today, the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport carries on in a different America, used to self promotion, culture as entertainment, and more curious than ever. For details on the exhibits, programs, and hours, please see this website. If you’re feeling cabin fever, the Barnum Museum will take you to new places.

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