By Marc Hartzman
A desirable inspect the historical past of the yankee sideshow and its performers. study what is genuine, what is pretend, and what is simply downright extraordinary. you may 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? a lot of these and extra have been stars throughout the heyday of the yank sideshow, from 1840 to 1950. American Sideshow chronicles the lives of really outstanding performers, analyzing those courageous and awesome curiosities, not only as sideshow sights, yet as humans, delving into the lives they led and the way they have been in a position to overcome their abnormalities. American Sideshow discusses the increase and fall of the unique sideshows and their next alternative through trendy self-made freaks. With the development of contemporary medication, the actual abnormalities are disappearing, both via remedy or prevention; and, paradoxically, those self same technological developments now give the opportunity to alter bodies at will. it really 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 interesting personalities are celebrated via intimate biographies paired with wonderful images. nearly 2 hundred performers from the prior one hundred sixty years are featured, giving readers a entire and occasionally spectacular view of the background of the yank sideshow.
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Extra info for American sideshow: an encyclopedia of history's most wondrous and curiously strange performers
Rosa contracted a case of jaundice, and in character with her controlling will, Josefa fell ill soon after. The twins were treated in a Chicago hospital. One doctor suggested their heavily meat-based diet since entering the United States was responsible. Josefa spent a week in a stupor, and it grew evident that she would die. Doctors considered a separation, but Rosa had made it clear that she did not wish to be divided from her sister. On March 30, 1922, Josefa died. Rosa followed, fifteen minutes later.
Even freakish animals have had their fifteen minutes. Just weeks before I wrote this paragraph, a four-eared cat and an alleged three-headed frog made national news. And now there’s this book. In it, I’ve attempted to cover as many performers in the United States as possible, from the early 1800s to today. It’s intended to serve as a tribute to those brave and amazing people who overcame whatever quirk of nature was bestowed on them—be it a parasitic twin or missing limbs, proportions wee or gigantic—as well as self-made freaks and those who trained their bodies to achieve the seemingly impossible.
MAJOR MITE - 1913—1975 PETE MOORE, THE WORLD’S SMALLEST MAN - 1932—1984 RASMUS NIELSEN - Circa 1870—? FRANCES O’CONNOR, THE LIVING VENUS DE MILO - 1914-1982 BARON PAUCCI - 1894-? JOHANN PETURSSON, THE VIKING GIANT - 1913—1984 BABY RUTH PONTICO - 1904—1941 SYLVIA PORTER, THE ELEPHANT-FOOT GIRL - Born circa 1920s FRIEDA PUSHNIK, THE ARMLESS, LEGLESS GIRL WONDER - 1923—2000 PRINCE RANDIAN, THE LIVING TORSO - 1871-1934 LADY SANDRA REED and HAROLD SPOHN - Reed: Born 1945- Spohn: 1936-1980 DOLLY REGAN, THE OSSIFIED GIRL - 1919—1994 GILBERT A.
American sideshow: an encyclopedia of history's most wondrous and curiously strange performers by Marc Hartzman