Prince Randian the Hindu Torso, Leona the Leopard Girl, Jumbo the Elephant, Chang & Eng the World’s Most Famous Siamese Twins who father 21 children with a pair of southern twin sisters, the Fiji Mermaid . . . where else could go see such a collection of peculiarities but PT Barnum’s one and only American Museum? Phineas T. Barnum was a born showman—an un unrepentant rogue and hustler—and America’s first showbiz millionaire. His motto was “there’s a sucker born every minute.” And he sucked a nickel out of every one of them. Over the course of 17 years, 38 million customers paid entry to see his bizarre attractions—and this at a time when the entire US population totaled fewer than 30 million.
He took a neighbor’s four year old son—little Charles Stratton–and make him into Tom Thumb – the most famous midget in history. Perhaps, the shortest too—just two and a half feet tall. By comparison, Austin Powers’ Mini Me is about 3 inches taller.
Our walk round City Hall brings you right by the famous site of his Museum on the corner of Ann St and Broadway.