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Barnum's Roving Museum of Freaks and Hypnotic Hippodrome was a series of traveling sideshow attractions and the precursor to P.T. Barnum's circus.

Overview

Barnum's Roving Museum of Freaks and Hypnotic Hippodrome in Wisconsin, 1870 featured a multitude of attractions and performances. Tickets were required to be purchased as proof of entry.

  • Clowns: These men work with make-up on their faces to appeal to children.
  • Elephants: Huge statues of elephants on wheels spewed smoke from their trunks.
  • The Museum of Freaks: Featuring a collection of weird people and objects, the Museum of Freaks mostly contained fake and/or imitated attractions, with the exception of the Bearded Lady and B'wana Beast.
    • B'wana Beast: Having the title of Lion Hunter: Lion Tamer and Serpent Charmer, a shirtless muscular man with a leopard headpiece works as a strongman.
    • Bearded Lady: Due to hormonal imbalance, Hildy's facial hair grew at an unusual rate, gaining the title of the "Bearded Lady".
    • King Tut's tomb: An imitation of King Tut's tomb was covered with flour to appear ancient.
    • Cro-Magnon: A man was dressed up as a Cro-Magnon, an early human species.
  • Performances: The ringmaster, P.T. Barnum, coordinated performances on his stage.
    • Saber-toothed tiger: An anachronistic smilodon was purchased and made part of the circus, but had escaped just before its debut.
    • The Astonishing Yin and Yang: Ray Palmer and Jefferson Jackson were unwillingly made part of the circus as Siamese twins with acts such as juggling, to which the two unsuccessfully kept up to do so.
    • Man of Steel: Barnum attempted to incorporate Nate in his circus, but was thwarted by an enraged Amaya Jiwe.
    • Impromptu acts: The success of the show mainly hinged on unexpected performances.
      • Martin Stein's clown tricks: Martin Stein dressed up as a clown and performed tricks such as optical illusions and balloon modelling.
      • God of Fire: The audience applauded in exhilaration as they watched Firestorm fly around.[1]

History

At some point, Hildy and an unnamed man were hired to work in the circus, respectively.

Sometime during or prior to 1870, Phineas founded his Roving Museum of Freaks and Hypnotic Hippodrome. During that year, the circus went to perform in Wisconsin, when an anachronistic saber-toothed tiger appeared due to the Legends' disruption of the timeline. Recognizing the entertainment value of the creature, Phineas used what funds he had to purchase the tiger and to use it as an attraction for his show.

After the Legends appeared to fix the anachronism, Nate Heywood and Ray Palmer accidentally released the tiger while dramatically increasing its size. Phineas was incredibly disheartened when he discovered that the tiger had escaped, as he had planned on using it to drive ticket sales so that he could continue to fund his show.

That evening, at a local bar, he remarked to Hildy and another one of his performers that he would most likely have to shut down his circus as a result. Moments later, Nate Heywood turned to steel, prompting Barnum to try to recruit him to the circus. When asked by P.T. Barnum regarding his abilities, a drunken Nate revealed the abilities of Jax, Ray, and Amaya. After Barnum offered to give them a "private show", a cover for his kidnapping them for the circus, Nate declined in order to talk to Amaya but ended up passing out in the cargo bay, where he was found by Sara, Mick, and Amaya.

After finding Ray and Jax dressed as conjoined twins in the circus tent, Nate and Amaya attempted to free them but were in turn captured by Barnum's troupe. Later, Barnum attempted to use Ray and Jax as entertainment, with terrible results. When the crowd began to lose interest in the performance, Barnum coerced Nate into "steeling up" by threatening first him, then Amaya. Barnum then shot Nate multiple times despite Nate's protests, angering Amaya to the point where she attacked Barnum, driving him out of the tent. Before she could kill him, however, Nate talked her out of it, reminding Amaya about her past with the JSA. P.T. Barnum then concluded the show and received thunderous applause.[1]

Known members

Current members

Former members

Appearances

DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Season 3

Behind the scenes

  • In real life, Barnum & Bailey Circus (1871–2017), also known as the Ringling Bros. Circus, Ringling Bros. or simply Ringling was an American traveling circus company billed as The Greatest Show on Earth. It and its predecessor shows ran from 1871 to 2017. Known as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, the circus started in 1919 when the Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth, a circus created by P. T. Barnum and James Anthony Bailey, was merged with the Ringling Bros. World's Greatest Shows. The Ringling brothers had purchased Barnum & Bailey Ltd. following Bailey's death in 1906, but ran the circuses separately until they were merged in 1919.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Freakshow"
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