There is always something fun, interesting and educational going on at the historical Barnum Museum in Bridgeport. On Sunday, July 23rd at 2:00 PM in the Museum, guests can enjoy Lanterns of Magic! Dick Moore, noted Historian and Collector of Magic Lanterns, will present an exciting, rare and unique show featuring magic lantern images that will showcase vivid and breathtaking views of early circus spectaculars! Magic Lanterns are descended from the ancient camera obscura, and are the equivalent to today’s Power Point presentations, but offer a wondrous, magical opportunity to step back in time and experience the thrill of acrobats and performers of bygone entertainment times.

Moore’s presentation, “Day at a Circus” will provide a brief glimpse of the working life of the circus as seen through the lens of the masterful photographer Frederick. W. Glasier. Glasier is renowned for his extensive work as a publicist and documentarian of circuses, Wild West shows and fairs from 1890-1925, the heyday of American circus entertainments.

Immediately following “Day at a Circus”, there will be the scintillating, stupendous, stimulating, stunning Magic Lantern show, Cirque d’Magique. Popular in the 19th century, Magic Lantern shows were a combination of projected images, live narration and live music that preceded film projection movies. By 1895 there were more than 60,000 ‘lantern showmen’ traveling the United States giving tens-of-thousands of performances every year educating, entertaining and mystifying audiences in small communities and large cities. Cirque d’Magique is unique to the glorious epoch of the American circus and the lantern projections will feature daring high and low wire acts, trapeze artists, leapers, lions and tigers, clowns, bareback riders, jumping dogs, snake charmers, juggling frogs and of course, no circus should be without them: the Performing Ponderous Pachyderms!

There is no registration required. A $5.00 donation is suggested. The event is free to members and children under 12. The Barnum Museum is located on 820 Main Street in Bridgeport.

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