Culture

Circus Freaks

Posted by Lyemium Editorial on Aug 16, 2013
A toast to the human oddities from the past.

Ethel Granger had the smallest waist on record,obtained through the strong urging of her husband to "corset train". Ethel wore the corset 24 hrs a day to shape her body. From there he moved on to piercing her for his own admiration & insisted she wear 5" heels daily. He slowly enlarged piercings in her ears,septum & eventually gave her 13 piercings in total.

 

Ann E. Leak was born in Georgia on December 23, 1839. In spite of a prediction by her mother's physician that she would die within a few days, she survived. While behind other's her age in learning to walk she eventually learned to use her feet as most use their hands. She became so adept at using her feet she could skillfully sew and braid hair. 

 

Pasqual Pinon. A sideshow promoter noticed that Pasqual suffered from a large benign tumor on the top of his head. The promoter convinced Pasqual to join the freak show circus and had a fake face made of wax placed on Pasqual’s tumor.

 

Josephene Myrtle Corbin was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee in 1868. "Myrtle was able to control the limbs of her sister but was unable to use them for walking and she herself had a difficult time getting around as she was born with a clubbed foot. Technically, the ‘Four-Legged Woman’ only had one good, usable leg.

 

Edith La Sylphe Lambelle ~ invented the “Sylphide”corset

 

Elastic Skinned Lady 1889, Etta Lake could pull her skin out 6 inches from her facial cheek. Etta was with the King & Franklin Circus.

 

Born with a beautiful face and giant feet, Fanny Mills came with a dowry of five thousand cash and a “well stocked farm” in Ohio from her desperate father, to any single men willing to take her as bride.

 

Jeanie Tomaini was born August 23, 1916 as Berniece Smith, Died August 10, 1999 Gibsonton, Florida. She was known in her day as the "World's Only Living Half Girl." She was born without legs and both of her arms were twisted. She began performing at age 3, exhibited by her parents at fairs all over the country. Jeanie's act consisted mainly of acrobatic stunts such as handstands and cartwheels - although her hands were deformed, she was able to walk on them with ease.

 

Frieda Pushnik was born on 10 February 1923 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Although healthy, Frieda was born without arms or legs — caused, Frieda said, by a botched appendectomy performed on her mother. Despite her lack of limbs Frieda taught herself to perform many useful tasks, some of which would become part of her act. Pushnik spent six years with Ripley, but in 1943 Frieda joined the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus Sideshow, becoming a member of their 'Congress of Freaks'.

 

Stephan Bibrowsky (1890-1932), known as Lionel the Lion-Faced Man. Sideshow performer for Barnum & Bailey’s Circus.

 

Annie Jones (c. 1860 – 1902) was an American bearded woman, born in Virginia. She toured with showman P. T. Barnum as a circus attraction. It is unconfirmed if this was a case of hirsutism or an unrelated genetic condition that affects children of both sexes and continues into adult years.