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Two-headed Goat: Billy and Bucky (Coney Island)

"Two-headed Goat: Billy and Bucky (Coney Island)" is copyright  2009 by James G. Mundie. All rights reserved.  Reproduction prohibited.

pen and ink drawing, 11 x 8 inches, 2009

There are times when the worlds of medicine and show business intersect. In this case, the specimen isn't displayed in a medical museum, but a version of its downmarket cousin: the dime museum. Both displays share a common ancestry in the wunderkammer tradition, but dime museums tended to branch away from academia and toward the freakshow.

The term ‘dime museum’ was coined (no pun intended) in the 19th-century to describe an establishment presenting a number of entertainments for one low admission price. The most famous — but not the first — of these belonged to P. T. Barnum; while the best known recent incarnation would have been Hubert's Museum — both in New York. The tradition lives on in smaller ventures and massive undertakings such as the Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not empire.

This two-headed goat belongs to showman John Strong, who set up several attractions in New York's Coney Island for the summer of 2009.

[detail enlargements]



All drawings by James G. Mundie.
[Reproduction in any form without express written permission
of the artist is prohibited.
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All Images and Text James G. Mundie 2009 - 2015