The Seven Sutherland Sisters, not only a 20th century circus act….
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
“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.