P.T. Barnum

(1810–1891)

P.T. Barnum

Anecdote 1...

Barnum’s business instincts did not desert him on his deathbead. His last reported words were: “How were the receipts today in Madison Square Garden?”

Quote-worthy...

Nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the taste of the American public.

~P.T. Barnum

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Anecdote 2...

P.T. Barnum

For a time Barnum employed an elephant to do the plowing on his farm. A neighboring farmer, a friend of Barnum’s, noticed the beast at work. He then got into an argument with its owner, who insisted the elephant was just another working animal about the farm. After wrangling for a time about the economics of feeding it and the amount of work it could do, the farmer said to Barnum, “I would just like to know what it can draw.” Barnum smiled. “It can draw the attention of twenty million American citizens to Barnum’s Museum,” he said.

Biographical Note: 

Phineas Taylor (P.T.) Barnum was a U.S. showman. He founded his famous circus, “The Greatest Show on Earth,” in 1871.

More Information: 

Read more about P.T. Barnum on the Ringling Brothers website.
Barnum was a Unitarian and the Unitiarian website also contains more information about him and his background.