In this episode of the Becoming Barnum podcast, P.T. Barnum was worried about his employees at the American Museum in New York City. He wanted museum taxidermist Emile Guillaudeu to create a pose for a pony’s skin that suggested motion with dignity and speed, but it is uncertain if he was successful.
Professor Edwin B. Swift had difficulty setting up the museum’s new projection equipment, but Barnum thought the Physioscope was excellent and urged Swift not to give up on it. The Physioscope was a modification of a magic lantern which could “depict the human face in colossal dimensions” on a screen.
You can listen to the podcast here.
About This Podcast Series
Becoming Barnum: The Journey to Fame and Fortune is a podcast series presented by the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Barnum Museum’s collections include a 750-page copybook of letters written by Phineas Taylor Barnum, then in his thirties, when he was traveling in Europe in the 1840s, introducing his young protege General Tom Thumb to high society and royalty – as well as millions of ordinary people.
Barnum’s letters reveal him struggling at times to make the three-year tour a success, while also directing the management of his American Museum from afar decades before his name was attracting crowds to the Greatest Show on Earth. The letters also reveal how Barnum went about acquiring, hiring, and commissioning attractions, and promoting his museum and the General Tom Thumb tour in Europe.
Support for this project was provided to the Barnum Museum from the City of Bridgeport American Rescue Plan Act funds, People’s United, a division of M&T Bank, and the Connecticut Humanities and National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
Listen to more Becoming Barnum podcasts online here.
For a full list of this week’s New York Almanack podcasts announcements click HERE.
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