Tussauds Finally Reopens after Fire,
In 1925 a fire caused by an electrical fault raged through Madame Tussauds on Marylebone Road in London; it took until April 1928 for the exhibition to be put together again and the doors to reopen to the public.
Intense heat and wax is not a great combination, and the vast majority of the figures were destroyed, as were the carefully crafted costumes in which they were dressed. But Tussauds in 1925 was as much museum as waxworks: luckily head-moulds for many of the famous people like Wellington and infamous characters like Dr Crippen on display were saved from the flames, facilitating replacement. Artefacts consumed in the blaze such as Napoleon’s campaign coach, some important paintings, and furniture from the period of the French Revolution, however, were irreplaceable.
The company took the opportunity to remodel the building into which the exhibition had been moved in 1884 from its original Baker Street site and improve its facilities: a cinema was added to the attractions, along with a restaurant. In spite of the lengthy break in service Tussauds was quickly busy again. Then as now it was one of the items on the to-do list of innumerable visitors to the capital, most of them eager to see the legendary Chamber of Horrors.
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