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Title [Poli's Eden Musee]
Object Name Print, Photographic
Photographer Bear, George
Date ca. 1888
Collection Staten Island Geographic Collection
Description Original B&W print on beige cardboard mount. Front view of a two-story clapboard building with a painted inscription at the roofline: "POLI'S / EDEN MUSEE." The building is decorated with posters and signs depicting a variety of men and women, including a man carrying a spear and a woman holding snakes. The doors and windows are designed in a Moorish style. A sign is posted on a column at the entrance: "NOW / OPEN / ADMISSION / 10C." Another sign is posted to the right of the entrance: "FAMILY / RESORT / FOR / LADIES / AND CHILDREN / ADMISSION / 10 CTS." A third sign is on the right corner of the building: "CURIOSITIES / FROM / ALL / PARTS / OF THE / GLOBE." The name "POLI'S EDEN MUSEE" appears in several places, including the window awnings. Four men, one woman, and a boy are seated on the entrance steps, and another man stands at left. A band is on the second floor balcony; several men have musical instruments. Printed inscription on the mount below the photo: "G. Bear / Stapleton, S.I." Handwritten inscription below the photo: "SOUTH BEACH / 1888."
(Keywords: New York, Sideshow)
Print size 7.125 x 9
Ownership and History Sylvester Z. Poli (1859-1937) immigrated to the U.S. from Italy and worked as a wax modeler, creating lifelike figures for the Eden Musee in Manhattan. In 1887 he opened his own small storefront exhibit in Chicago, and in 1888 went into a partnership that opened dime museums in Rochester and Staten Island, New York, and Toronto, Canada. In 1891 he left the partnership, and after moving to New Haven, Connecticut in 1892, he turned his attention to vaudeville theaters.
Earliest Date 1888
Latest Date 1891
Subjects Galleries & museums
Lexicon Sub-category Documentary Artifact
Catalog Number PH01.1281
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, June 2016.
Legal Status Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.