Freaks! Assassins! Giant Squids!

Freaks! Assassins! Giant Squids! (HM2FYC)

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N 40° 43.051', W 73° 59.709'

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101-103 Bowery

In 1881, Worth's Museum and Congress of Living and Intimate Curiosities opened at 101 Bowery. Like other dime museums which lined the Bowery, Worth's offered a variety of freakish amusements, such as the largest specimen of giant squid in North America and what was claimed to be the preserved head of Charles Julius Guiteau - the assassin of President James Garfield. Children who brought a live mouse to feed to the museum's 54 rattlesnakes, (sic) were admitted for free.
From 1876-1878, 103 Bowery was home to Bunnell's New American Museum, founded by dime museum pioneer George Bunnell, a former assistant to P.T. Barnum. Like Barnum, he offered exotic exhibits and stage shows, but at cheap prices. Housed on three floors, visitors flocked to oddities like the "Two-Brained Baby," preserved "Mermaids" (dead manatees) and Jo-Jo, "King of Dog-Faced Freaks" (a boy with the condition hypertrichosis). The first floor "Theatorium" offered snake charmers and sword-swallowers, as well as vaudeville and burlesque acts. The second floor was a live animal menagerie and the third floor housed a wax museum devoted to sinners called "Dante's Inferno," in which spectators were encouraged to sneer at hated public figures like robber baron Jay Gould and William "Boss"

- Eric Ferrera, author of The Bowery and founder of the Lower East Side History project (
Year Placed2016
Placed ByBowery Alliance of Neighbors
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 at 11:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 584869 N 4507885
Decimal Degrees40.71751667, -73.99515000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 43.051', W 73° 59.709'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 43' 3.0600000000001" N, 73° 59' 42.54" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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