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P(hineas) T(aylor) Barnum

circus museum bailey

Barnum, P(hineas) T(aylor) (1810–91), U.S. impresario, showman, and publicist. The hoaxes, freaks, and curiosities exhibited in his American Museum (founded 1841) in New York included the original Siamese twins and General Tom Thumb. In 1871 he opened his famous traveling circus, which in 1881 merged with James A. Bailey's show to become Barnum and Bailey's “Greatest Show on Earth.” Today there is a Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Conn., the city of his birth.

See also: Circus.

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