The Life & Times of P.T. Barnum with Barnum Museum Executive Director, Kathleen Maher 8.10.15


A conversation about a brilliant and all but forgotten GREAT American.

We have a new guest for you this evening to talk about a great American from the past that doesn’t get a lot of attention these days, but we’re doing something about that. Kathleen Maher is the Executive Director of The Barnum Museum, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Yes, BARNUM, As in Phineas Taylor Barnum, or as most of us know as, P.T. Barnum.

P.T. Barnum could be considered the first great American entertainer. But he was much more than that. Barnum was also an author, a newspaper publisher, philanthropist, he served 2 terms in the Connecticut legislature (I’ll bet that must have been interesting!) and he was mayor of Bridgeport. Barnum knew everyone who was anyone in his time – presidents, royalty, inventors, captains of industry, and inventors.

Barnum said of himself, "I am a showman by profession…and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me."


Two years after his death in 1891, The Barnum Museum was established and was eventually listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. But on June 24, 2010, an EF-1 tornado blasted through Bridgeport, Conn and significantly damaged the Museum. Our guest, Kathleen Maher is the executive director of the Barnum Museum and thanks to her leadership, her team, and their persistence, the museum is back, updated, and better than ever.

PT Barnum was an American of the Andrew Jackson, "self-made man" era, and he said, “Fortune always favors the brave, and never helps a man who does not help himself.”

Thanks for listening! – Scott



Enjoy the below photos!





Barnum’s American Museum was located at the corner of Broadway and Ann Street in New York City, USA, from 1841 to 1865



P T Barnum Museum