P.T. Barnum at Legg Hall


On Wednesday evening, December 2nd, 1868, Phineas Taylor Barnum, America’s greatest showman, delivered his lecture, “The Art of Money-Getting,” at Legg Hall. In the era before cinema, television, radio and the Internet, lecturing was the only sure-fire way to generate income.  P.T. Barnum had made a fortune with his American Museum in New York City, with its 850,000 exhibits and curiosities, and lost it all through bad investments. In 1858, he went to England, wrote “The Art of Money-Getting,” and presented the two-hour lecture more than 100 times in England and continental Europe, before trotting it out across the United States. The Oswego Times noted, “No man of common sense can hear such a lecture without being both delighted and largely benefited by it.” By 1870, Barnum was back in the black.

“I will loose my camel, and trust it to God!” “No, no, not so,” said the Prophet, “tie thy camel, and trust it to God!” ― P.T. Barnum in The Art of Money-Getting

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Note: While it is too late to attend Barnum’s lecture, the text is still in print, in a very affordable Dover edition, filled with excellent, practical advice.

Money Getting


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