The Barnum Museum
The Barnum Museum.
The Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut, has an extensive collection related to P. T. Barnum and the history of Bridgeport. It is housed in a historic building on the National Register of Historic Places.
The three-story museum is constructed of stone and terra cotta with architectural influences ranging from Byzantine to Romanesque architecture. Relief panels lining the top of the building contain imagery from America's history including Native American, maritime, Civil War and industrial age reliefs. There are also busts interspersed among the relief panels of a Native American, Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Elias Howe, Civil War General Winfield Scott and Grover Cleveland.
Today, it is the only museum dedicated to the life of P. T. Barnum. It contains a 1,000-square-foot miniature replica of his circus hand crafted by William Brinley and including 3000 miniature figures. There is also a miniature replica of his library from his former Iranistan estate and a number of other artifacts and displays of 19th Century life in Bridgeport.
Also housed on the property is an exhibit devoted to Tom Thumb, one of P. T. Barnum's most famous acts. The oldest artifact in the museum is a 2500-year-old Egyptian mummy verified as authentic by Quinnipiac University personnel.
The museum was seriously damaged by a tornado that struck Bridgeport on June 24, 2010. The museum is soliciting contributions to replace and repair the portions of the collection that were damaged by the storm.