Monday, 5 July 2010

To the egress

Today is the 200th anniversary of Phineas T Barnum, showman extraordinary. He is credited with the maxim: "There is a sucker born every minute", though this seems to have been a later adaptation of what he actually said: "The people like to be humbugged".

 My favourite Barnum story (though, again, there is no definite evidence for its truth) concerns his American Museum in New York which, at times, was too popular. In order to keep the customers moving (and thus make room for new ones), he posted the sign "This way to the egress" which led the unlearned to the exit.

Sadly, the museum dedicated to him has been damaged by a recent tornado. Events there celebrating the bicentenary have had to be cancelled.

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