Barnum's Museum token
1/8 x 1 1/2 in. diameter
Barnum's Museum white metal token; obverse with image of Barnum's Museum in New York with legend "New York/ P.T. Barnum/ Proprietor"; reverse with portrait of Barnum inside a laurel wreath flanked by flags, over text: "This immense establishment/ contains 500,000 curiosities,/ including birds, beasts, insects,/ fossils, minerals, marine specimens,/ Indian implements, suits of armour,/ statuary, coins, medals,/ choice paintings, rare engravings,/ grand cosmorama, aerial garden/ and lecture room, in which rich,/ diversified and talented/ entertainments are given,/ unsurpassed in the World./ Admission To The Whole, Only 25 Cents".
Barnum's American Museum opened in 1841 and exhibited both inanimate and animate oddities, including humans such as giants, dwarves, albinos as well as physical performers including acrobats and contortionists. This New York City museum first burned down in 1865, only to be rebuilt and burn again in 1868, after which Barnum opened his famous travelling circus.
Gift of Bella C. Landauer
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.