barnum’s american museum

Tiger Shot by Cop

A royal Bengal tiger is shot by a policeman after leaping from a top story window
of the burning American Museum.

Barnum’s Fire

Barnum’s American Museum, at the corner of Spring Street and Broadway, burned on the night of March 2, 1868. It was a freezing cold night and the building was coated with ice from the firemen’s hoses. The double image above was made for use with a stereo-opticon viewer, a popular entertainment of the nineteenth century. The viewer looked through a frame at the dual, almost identical images and perceived a three-D effect.

Barnum’s Burning

Barnum’s on fire the night on 2 March 1868, from Harper’s Illustrated.

Barnum’s American Museum

Barnum’s before the fire.

For more on Barnum and arson, see the Barnum’s Hippodrome page on this site or visit The Lost Museum website.