Phineas T Barnum's Influence On American Culture

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America has been influenced by many people, inventions, and cultural phenomenons since it’s confederation in 1776. Phineas T. Barnum has influenced much of mass-entertainment since coming to America in 1834 at age sixteen (Harris 13), he has vastly changed what it means to promote and entertain in American Culture. 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. James Cook argues that Barnum’s fascination with the entertainment business began in July 1835 while reading a newspaper article about Joice Heth, a one-hundred sixty-one year old maid of General Augustine Washington and nanny of later President George Washington. Cook claims this was the start of “mass-scale consumer entertainment” (Cook 9). This was the beginning of promotion and advertisement for the modern period, Barnum’s style of advertising would have a long-lasting effect on American culture and modern society, and prove to be the most effective way to advertise to large-scale audiences, promoting the mass-entertainment and mass-media mentality. Barnum single-handedly invented mass-promotion in the media, and invented ways of advertising that companies still execute in order to successfully brand their product. Phineas Taylor Barnum was born in Bethel, Connecticut on July 5th 1810 (Harris 9). He was the oldest of five all raised in Connecticut, living in a rather large average

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