Barnum's World

This is a computer rendered graphic of the second floor landing of Barnum's Museum, based on strict measurements taken from floor plans, tourist's descriptions of the museum and its contents, and published guidebooks. It was produced as part of an ongoing experiment in historical simulation by the American Social History Project.

Barnum's museum was very different from modern museums. To modern eyes, it seems like a jumble of unconnected, different things. It was a strange place, famous for being controversial, disturbing, scary, funny, dishonest. You might think of it as being like televison today. It gives us an extraordinary look at the popular culture of America in the 1850s and 60s.

Clicking on the first link below will open a new window and take you into "the Lost Musem."

Clicking on the second lick will open another window with a set of questions that describes the assignment. You might consider printing out the questions to look at as you explroe the museum, or simply keep the window accessible.

Enter the Museum

The Assignment