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P T Barnum Phineas Taylor Barnum reinvented the circus His knowledge of what people want and how to make people think they want what he had was amazing He constantly fooled people and had a way of making the customers come back Barnum was ultimate salesman He single handedly turned the circus into the Greatest Show On Earth it is today P T Barnum was born in Bethel Connecticut on July 5th 1810 He later called himself a Yankee doodle dandy plus one He was the oldest of five all raised in a typical Connecticut saltbox house which is an average large house is that still stands today His father Philo Barnum dabbled in several trades His father owned his own dry goods store Barnums mom Irena Taylor was a housewife The family was moderately well off Barnum as a child was influenced by a strict Protestant work ethic He fallowed a type of Christianity called Congregationalism Congregationalism was strict about working learning and keeping yourself busy Fun was a scarce commodity About the only fun the church ever had were lotteries but even those were rare Also the town liked one-upping each other with outrageous pranks Phineas Taylor who was Barnums grandfather was one of the most notorious jokers in Bethel and also one of the richest men His longest running joke would be on Barnum At the boys cresting he deeded Barnum a piece of land called Ivy Island For years Barnum herd stories about what a lucky young man he was to be given Ivy Island At the age of ten he set out to see the island himself Barnum soon found out Ivy Island was named for poisoned ivy It was an Island in the middle of swamp just east of Bethel Barnum then learned that he was the unknowing butt of jokes for ten years Barnum learned from this although a bit angry that people loved being humbugged
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