Ringling, Barnum, Bailey & Scudder

After a 207 year run, \”The Greatest Show On Earth\” will close where it all began.

 

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John Scudder, an amateur taxidermist, opens the American Museum in New York City at 21 Chatham Street.  Catering to mostly wealthy gentlemen, the museum offered science lectures and natural history exhibits after opening.  Economic hardship and the War of 1812, however, caused Scudder to redesign his museum.  Strolling musicians and “lilliputians” brought new excitement and new visitors to the American Museum.

 

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The population of New York City passes 120,000, more than doubling its inhabitants in just twenty years  Many of these citizens,  immigrants, lived in tight quarters with one another, giving rise to tenements and the need for people to seek entertainment outside of the home.

Now run by Dr. John Scudder Jr., the museum is so successful that it moves into a new grand building at Broadway and Ann Streets in 1830.

 

 

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In July 1841 it was decided to sell the Museum . After a good deal of dickering John Heath, a merchant appointed by the City Surrogate to wind up the Scudder Estate, struck the famous bargain by which P.T. Barnum acquired the American Museum as a going concern for the sum of $12,000.

The rest is History

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