"Becoming Barnum: The Journey to Fame and Fortune" is a podcast presented by The Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The podcast is based on the museum's award-winning blog series and explores the life of P.T. Barnum through a collection of 750-page copybook letters written by Barnum during his travels in Europe in the 1840s. The letters offer insights into Barnum as a husband, father, and businessman, as well as his mentorship of child actor-entertainer General Tom Thumb. The podcast explores the hardscrabble world of show business in the 19th century and offers a glimpse into the life and mind of the man behind the legend. Support for this project is provided by the City of Bridgeport, People’s United, and the Connecticut Humanities and National Endowment for the Humanities.

Join us on this journey through history and discover the real person behind the legendary "P.T. Barnum." Listen to our episodes and follow along as we uncover the fascinating story of Barnum's rise to fame and fortune.

First Episodes

An Introduction to Becoming Barnum: Interview with Barnum Museum Curator

In this episode of the "Becoming Barnum" podcast, we sit down with Adrienne Saint-Pierre, the Curator of the Barnum Museum's artifact collection and archive. Saint-Pie...

A Bit of France in Bridgeport, Connecticut

Barnum’s travels in France had influenced his vision for his beloved Bridgeport; this was clearly revealed by what he chose to tell the Atlas readers. Barnum adopted B...

“A Touch of Yankee” Solves a Problem

Mr. Barnum was infuriated by the demands of the Hospice Commissioners who expected a far larger percentage of the gross receipts than Barnum felt reasonable.

The Beginnings of Iranistan

Barnum’s homesickness coincided with and perhaps fueled his desire to begin building a country home for his family. Barnum writes about a future grand home in Bridgepo...

A Mountain of Worries

In this episode, we delve into a new “batch” of the letters P. T. Barnum wrote while in France and sent back to his family and business associates in America. These l...

More Episodes »
Broadcast by