Popularizing_Science_9.29 - Popularizing Science (19th...

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Popularizing Science (19 th cent.) Museums influenced culture. Renwick Gallery, Wash. D.C. (1858). A sign of progress. Exhibition galleries. Proprietary Museums were common, funded by philanthropists, highlighted high-culture. Most failed b/c the general public was not interested. Mid 19 th cent. revival of the proprietary museum by showmen, such as PT Barnum, the circus (1870) was a later addition. Showmen catered to the masses, who were growing; population boom, immigration. 60k to 500k population in half a cent. Barnum purchased (1841) the first American Museum. He showcased constantly changing performers, and had live animals too. He wanted to have exhibitions that showcased certain middle class values. He used advertizing very successfully. Posters and flags throughout the city. He sent performers out onto the sidewalk to tease customers into coming inside. By the mid 1840s it was a success. 25 cents to get in. Cheap and accessible to the public.
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