This wonderful antique porcelain figurine is probably a souvenir from the mid 1800s. It’s a ‘portrait’ of the famous Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker. The Bunker’s performed throughout the mid 1800’s and had 21 children combined. Change and Eng passed away 1874 at the age of 62.
The original Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker (1811–1874), were born in Siam (Thailand). The brothers traveled the world for many years as performers. (or freaks) Chang and Eng were joined at the torso by a band of flesh and they had fused livers.. Due to the brothers’ fame and the rarity of the condition, the term “Siamese twins” is still used as a synonym for conjoined twins.
In 1882 the Barnum and Bailey Circus signed a new act for the sideshow. It was called the Seven Sutherland Sisters. The girls — Sarah, Victoria, Isabella, Grace, Naomi, Mary, and Dora — who ranged in age from 18 to 36, would file on stage in white gowns, their dark hair glimmering in the gas lights, and sing a selection of songs. The remarkable bass voice of Naomi was prominent in their rich harmony. Continue reading →
THE CIRCUS SIDESHOWS OF THE LATE 1800s AND EARLY 1900s
The Doll Family (via wfmu) “Toney, alligator skin boy, Dreamland Circus side show, Coney Island,” with icthyosis a skin trait 1920 (via eugenicsarchive)
Freddy, the armless Wonder.The Boomschmidt Circus giant and his legless wife (via mreha) left; Dolly Dimples was billed as “The World’s Prettiest Fat Girl” and “The World’s Most Beautiful Fat Lady”
“1818’s; Josephene Myrtle Corbin, the Four-Legged Woman, was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee in 1868. Rather than having a parasitic twin, Myrtle’s extra legs resulted from an even rarer form of conjoined twinning known as dipygus, which gave her two complete bodies from the waist down. She had two small pelves side-by-side, and each of her smaller inner legs was paired with one of her outer legs. She could move the smaller legs but was unable to use them for walking. At the age of 19, she married a doctor named Clinton Bicknell and had four daughters and a son. It has been said that three of her children were born from one set of organs, two from the other. Myrtle died on May 6, 1928.” (via blackandwtf.tumblr)
“Freak shows were popular in the United States from around 1840 to the 1970’s, and were often associated with circuses and carnivals. Some shows also exhibited deformed animals (such as two-headed cows, one-eyed pigs, and four-horned goats) and famous hoaxes, or simply “science gone wrong” exhibits (such as deformed babies)”(Via The Horror Zine) Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, 1932 Photo by Kelty, Edward J. American (1888-1967) (via geh.org) Tod Browning’s “Freaks” (1932) Director Browning took the exceptional step of casting real people with deformities as the eponymous sideshow “freaks,” rather than using costumes and makeup.