By Marc Hartzman
A desirable check out the heritage of the yank sideshow and its performers. examine what is actual, what is faux, and what is simply downright extraordinary. you might have most likely heard of Tom Thumb. The Elephant guy. Chang and Eng, the unique Siamese twins. yet what approximately Eli Bowen, the legless acrobat? Myrtle Corbin, the four-legged lady? Or Prince Randian, the human torso? most of these and extra have been stars through the heyday of the yankee sideshow, from 1840 to 1950. American Sideshow chronicles the lives of actually impressive performers, analyzing those courageous and striking curiosities, not only as sideshow sights, yet as humans, delving into the lives they led and the way they have been capable of overcome their abnormalities. American Sideshow discusses the increase and fall of the unique sideshows and their next alternative by means of brand new self-made freaks. With the development of recent drugs, the actual abnormalities are disappearing, both via remedy or prevention; and, paradoxically, those self same technological developments now give the chance to alter bodies at will. it truly is remarkable how effortless it's to have your tongue forked, horns surgically implanted, or your earlobes got rid of. There also are modern day giants, fire-eaters, fire-breathers, sword-swallowers, glass-eaters, human blockheads, and, oh, a lot more. those attention-grabbing personalities are celebrated via intimate biographies paired with lovely photos. nearly 2 hundred performers from the previous a hundred and sixty years are featured, giving readers a complete and infrequently miraculous view of the background of the yank sideshow.
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Additional info for American sideshow: an encyclopedia of history's most wondrous and curiously strange performers
Rosa was also the more gregarious. The two had very different tastes in food and were hungry at separate times. In 1891 the twins began exhibiting themselves in Paris and London as the Bohemian Twins. At fifteen, they traveled to America to appear in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Shortly after returning to Europe, though still quite young, the sisters wanted to marry. The lucky groom would get a two-for-one deal. It wasn’t until 1910 that a marriage opportunity presented itself.
Benoit Twins. They lived just under a year, dying after suffering from a cold in August 1879. ELI BOWEN, THE LEGLESS ACROBAT 1844—1924 Eli Bowen with his family and pet goat. Author’s collection Born on October 14, 1844, in Richland, Ohio, Eli was one of ten children. But unlike his siblings, he had no legs. He did, however, have two feet, of different sizes, protruding from his pelvis. The deformity was due to a rare birth defect known as phocomelia. Bowen made the most of what he had, and became one of the world’s best-known Legless Wonders.
ISAAC W. SPRAGUE, THE ORIGINAL THIN MAN - 1841-1887 TOM THUMB - 1838-1883 THE TOCCI BROTHERS, GIACOMO and GIOVANNI - 1875-1912 CHARLES TRIPP - 1855-1930 UNZIE - 1868—? LAVINIA WARREN - 1841-1919 THE WILD MEN OF BORNEO, WAINO and PLUTANO (HIRAM and BARNEY DAVIS) - Hiram: ... GEORGE WILLIAMS, THE TURTLE BOY - 1859-? LUCIA ZARATE, THE MEXICAN LILLIPUTIAN - 1863-1889 PART TWO - The SILVER AGE JOHN AASEN - 1890-1938 ALBERT-ALBERTA - 1899-1963 SAM ALEXANDER, THE MAN WITH TWO FACES - Circa 1920s-1997 GEORGE AUGER, THE CARDIFF GIANT - 1882-1922 HUGH BAILY, THE PRETZEL MAN - Born 1935 JANE BARNELL, LADY OLGA - 1871—?