gigantic, in: barnum advert

After Phineas Taylor Barnum (Bethel, Connecticut 1810 – Bridgeport, Connecticut 1891).

Barnum was a showman who, especially with his circus productions, created an extraordinary spectacle.

He settled in New York in 1835 and made a lot of money showing a black mammy, who, according to an unreliable source, was 166 years old and had once worked as a nanny for George Washington.

In 1842 he bought the American Museum where he showed strange creatures, such as the famous dwarf Tom Thumb (Tom Pouce) and the Siamese twins Chang and Eng, who did indeed come from Siam.

He also earned money as an impresario for the singer Jenny Lind, 'the Swedish nightingale', for whom he organized nearly a hundred concerts from 1850 onwards.

In 1871 he founded a large traveling circus which he called The greatest show on earth, the success of which was largely due to his publicity stunts. Ten years later he merged his circus with that of his competitor JA Bailey.

Together they bought the British national elephant Jumbo in 1881, much to the anger of the British. When he died, Barnum left behind millions of dollars and a book, a world bestseller, with tips for getting rich. He is buried at Mountain-Grove in Bridgeport next to his biggest star: Tom Thumb.

> (see also jumbo and tompoes)