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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Inscription

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"



Tweed.
- Eric Ferrera, author of The Bowery and founder of the Lower East Side History project (leshp.org)
Details
HM NumberHM2FYC
Tags
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
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Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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