The Lost Museum Archive

"Barnum's National Poultry Show Polka"

In late October, 1854, Barnum announced the American Museum’s second “Great Poultry Show” of the year (the first was held in February). The week-long event transformed, in quintessential Barnum fashion, an otherwise routine agricultural market transaction into an opportunity for spectacle and hyperbole. Advertisements invited the public to inspect the “all foreign and just imported” fowl, “the rarest,” “costliest,” and “pure-bred” birds before they were auctioned off and “distributed throughout our country.” This sheet music cover commemorated the show. The following year, Barnum moved from exhibiting poultry to children when he presented the “National Baby Show” at the American Museum.

Barnum's National Poultry Show Polka