Timeline of P. T. Barnum's Life
P.T. Barnum was a successful American promoter who founded what became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1871. Thanks in part to the enduring success of his circus, Barnum is celebrated as a brilliant promoter and a man who transformed the nature of commercial entertainment in the 19th century. He is also remembered for his philanthropic contributions and investments in the city of Bridgeport, where exhibits of his life and the curiosities he brought to the public are featured at the Barnum Museum.
1810 - Youth
1835 - Promoting
1841 - American Museum
1842 - General Tom Thumb
1850 - Jenny Lind
1865 - Museum Burns
In July 1865, Barnum's American Museum burned to the ground in a massive fire. The promoter soon opened another museum at a nearby location, but this one also was demolished by a fire, in March 1868.
1871 - Teams with Circus Owners
After retiring from the museum business, Barnum teamed with circus owners Dan Castello and William C. Coup to launch P.T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Hippodrome in 1871.
1882 - Jumbo
1891 - Death
Confined to his Bridgeport home after suffering a stroke in 1890, Barnum died on April 7, 1891. A businessman to the end, he allegedly asked about the previous night's gate receipts at the circus with his final words.