An Extraordinary Aquatic
Act Underneath the Big Top.
One of the most unique ads fo
r a Barnum act was this odd but compelling "bird's eye view of a twisting river with adventurer Captain Paul Boyton popping up at different points.
Boyton spent years taming rivers,
waterfalls, whirlpools - anything else that was wet and dangerous.He navigated the Mississippi when it was filled with grinding ice. Abroard, he had been attacked by sharks in the Straits of Messina.
He conquered the Tamaes, Rhine, the Danube, the Tiber, the Arno.
All this in preperation for his tour with the great Barnum and London United Monster Shows, for which Barnum admitted paying Boyton a "princely salary" for an undertaking that would "severely tax even our enormous resources," the daily construction of a miniature lake (right) in which the Captain could revel in his rubber suit.