Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Greatest Show On Earth!

I find this photograph intriguingly beautiful. What do you think?


I have this dear Bearded Lady listed as Madam Josephine Clofullia, the Bearded Lady of Geneva. Unfortunately, I'm uncertain as to the veracity of that, as Josephine died in 1875 and while the costume worn in this photograph could be from the 1870s, I would be inclined to place it at the very end. Thoughts?

George Prise, "The Living Skeleton" Taken in the 1870s. Sadly I could not find any more information about him - even what condition he had. If anyone knows, please share!

Nora Hildenbrant, America's first professional Tattooed Lady! Nora's status is partially due to the fact that her father was one of America's first professional tattoo artists. Nora was the canvas upon which he practiced when he had no customers. Nora first started appearing publicly in 1882, in her 30s. She continued to tour, mostly with Barnum and Bailey through the 1890s.

This is Frieda Pushnik, born in Johnstown, PA in 1923. Billed as the Living Torso, Frieda had no legs and only the stump of one arm and was able to dress herself, apply makeup, crochet, and won several awards for her penmanship! Frieda's first taste of showbusiness came with her debut in Ripley's Odditorium at the Chicago World's Fair in 1934. She also survived the Barnum circus fire of 1949, and went to act in several movies in the 1960s. Her mother supported her (literally) the entire time. Frieda died in 2000.


Barnum Himself!

A trick pony!

And finally, Jean (and Jaques) Libbera. Yes, that is Jean's twin, whom he named Jaques. They are 28 in this photograph from 1912. Jean traveled with several circuses, and was also married and had four children. When out in public, he would wear a cape which he could use to cover up Jaques to stop the public from staring.

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