The History of Madame Tussauds London - Established on Baker Street

Madame Tussauds is established on Baker Street


1802
At the age of 41, Madame Tussaud seizes the chance to explore new opportunities in London leaving her husband and her younger son in charge of the Paris exhibition. In 1804 Marie writes to her husband: “my enterprise became more important to me than returning to you. Adieu, Adieu, - we can each go our own way”. Marie never sees her husband or returns to France again

1802-1835
A born show woman, for 33 years Madame Tussaud stages her collection of the famous and infamous in the halls and theatres of every major town and city in Britain. The exhibition is accompanied by music and the figures are splendidly dressed and beautifully lit. She travels in brightly decorated caravans, using advertisements and posters to promote her exhibition. To maintain the topicality of the exhibition, Madame Tussaud continues to model contemporary personalities, royals, criminals and murderers

1817
Francis Tussaud joins his mother and brother Joseph in London

1822
Madame Tussaud is shipwrecked when she tries to take her exhibition to Ireland. All her possessions are lost except for one box containing miniature models. She demonstrates her entrepreneurial drive, immediately setting to work to recreate what she has lost

1835
The exhibition finally settles at a building called ‘The Bazaar’ on Baker Street in London where Madame Tussaud and her sons set up the “Chamber of Horrors”, exploiting her experiences of the French Revolution. Marie continues to add to her collection of relics and in 1840 purchases the coronation robes worn by King George IV

1842
Madame Tussaud creates her final figure, a self portrait, at the age of 81

1850
On April 15, Madame Tussaud passes away aged 89 years old. The exhibition continues under the control of her two sons Joseph and Francis

1884
Madame Tussaud’s grandsons move the exhibition to new premises in London, the current UK site. The new exhibition is reputed to have cost £80,000.00 (just under £4 million or HK$47 million today!)

1903
John Theodore Tussaud organises a Madame Tussauds & Sons Centennial Dinner to celebrate 100 years since the arrival of Madame Tussaud in England

1925
Madame Tussauds London is seriously damaged by fire. The attraction is rebuilt three years later with the addition of a cinema

1940
A World War II bomb destroys the cinema and 352 irreplaceable head moulds at Madame Tussauds London, however, Hitler’s mould survives

1970
Madame Tussauds Amsterdam opens and the company celebrates its Bicentennial Anniversary

1997
In the tradition of Madame Tussaud’s original touring exhibition, Tussauds takes waxwork figures all over the world, including Melbourne, Sydney and Singapore finally settling in Hong Kong

1999
Madame Tussauds Las Vegas opens

Find out how Madame Tussauds is evolving in the New Millenium