Today we go to the circus to see trained animals, clowns and agile athletes. People went to see the Siamese twins, too thin and too fat.
As a result, at one time, some bearded lady could become not an outcast, but a celebrity. The most famous unusual people who, unfortunately, were exhibited for the amusement of the public and will be discussed.
Millie and Christina McCoy. Siamese twins are not so rare. People are born, fused with bodies. They have common internal organs. Today, doctors carry out operations to separate unfortunate people who are doomed to a minimum of discomfort, and a maximum of suffering. The McCoy sisters went to Barnum's circus and toured as The Two-Headed Nightingale. And their story began on July 11, 1851, when unusual children appeared in a family of slaves in North Carolina. For the mother, this was already the eighth birth and nothing unusual was noted. Even before their first birthday, the fused sisters were sold to showman James Smith for 6 thousand dollars. He acquired the rest of the family, uniting them. Parents were allowed to give Siamese twins education in various fields, including teaching singing and dancing. Smith fulfilled his promise. The sisters learned to sing beautifully and performed at the Barnum circus. The career of the "Two-Headed Nightingale" lasted more than 30 years, during which time the sisters have accumulated a small amount of capital. But the fire destroyed most of their property. The McCoy sisters lived in poverty, dying of tuberculosis at the age of 61.
Francesco Lentini. Strictly speaking, the man was also one of a pair of Siamese twins. But his "brother", tied to a common spine, consisted only of genitals and legs. Francesco had 12 normal brothers and sisters, so the appearance of such a child was a shock for the family. It is said that the midwife who attended the delivery threw the baby under the bed and ran out of the room in terror. The doctors who examined the boy said that the operation was too risky. I must say that Francesco's parents tried to help him cope with his disability, seeing how he was teased. And when the boy got into children's institutions, he realized that there are those who are even worse than him. Francesco decided for himself that he should not take offense at life. And when he grew up, he became a stand-up comedian, saying that he always gets two pairs of shoes, not forgetting about his one-legged friend. Lentini chose a circus career and toured with various troupes for over 40 years, including Barnum and Coney Island. Lentini was so respected that he was nicknamed "The King." A charming man with a great sense of humor, he even got married and had children.
Persilla Lautner. This woman was born in Puerto Rico in 1911. Persilla suffered from hypertrichosis, better known as "werewolf syndrome." This resulted in Lautner receiving an abnormal amount of hair and two rows of teeth. But in a family with five children, this was the only pathology. The mother consulted with doctors, but they could not offer any effective treatment. After the death of Persilla's father, she ended up in a circus, where the evil organizers gave her the nickname "The Monkey Girl." The girl learned to sing and dance, received an education. And during one of the tours, she met Emmitt Bedziano, who suffered from ichthyosis. This disorder made his skin tough and scaly. Begiano performed under the name of "Crocodile Man". The couple married in 1938, staying together until Emmitt's death in 1995. The couple who toured together went down in history as the world's strangest husband and wife. Percilla even made it onto the Jerry Springer Show, to whom she was interviewed. At that time, in 1997, the woman was already clean-shaven, getting rid of her vegetation. And Perilla died in 2001, at the age of 89.
James Morris. The man was born in New York in 1859 with a strange Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. It manifests itself in the extreme elasticity of the skin. With such a disease, protein synthesis is disrupted, which underlies the connective tissue. As a result, not only does the skin become superelastic, but also the joints turn out to be super flexible. James Morris received the nickname "Rubber Man" for his abilities. His most popular trick is pulling the skin of his neck over his eyes. At first, this feature was used by James purely for the entertainment of friends, while still serving in the army, he earned himself fame. Moving to the Barnum Circus in 1885, Morris became a star there, earning up to $ 300 a week. With the troupe, the freak traveled all over North America and Europe. But Morris became addicted to alcohol and gambling and was forced to open his own hairdresser in New York in order to meet his financial needs. It is worth noting that the disease that brought on such amazing abilities was painful. Scars and scars formed in the places that Morris constantly stretched.
Violet. Due to the Tetra-Amelia syndrome, Violetta was born without arms and legs. But, despite this physical handicap, the girl became quite nimble. She herself combed her hair, sewed things together, and could even thread the needle through the needle without assistance. Apart from physical disabilities, Violetta had no other harmful disorders. She was said to have a perfect body. The doctors who examined the girl called her torso perfect, without any scars. But her senses worked better than the average person. In the circus, the girl was presented as "Armless Beauty" and "Armless Venus". The girl surprised that she could draw caricatures with her lips and teeth. She rolled on the mat and regained her balance. And at the end of the show, a nurse, who is also an assistant, carried Violetta around the arena, allowing the audience, if desired, to touch the artist and realize her reality. Some daring young people even tried kissing Violetta. In this case, she fought back with her chin with such force that it could even cause tears in the offender.
Isaac W. Sprague. Issak grew up as a normal child, but by the age of 12 he began to rapidly lose weight. Later, through constant malnutrition, he tried to maintain an unusual body shape. Upon reaching adulthood, Isaac began working in the Barnum circus, portraying a skeleton man. And after the fire of the American Barnum Museum, Sprague managed to end his previous life as a living exhibit. He got married and even had three children. But due to financial problems, Sprague rejoined Barnum. Isaac was often seen with a flask of milk around his neck, which he drank occasionally to stay awake. The skeleton man died in 1887 in complete poverty, driven by his passion for gambling. Isaac Sprague bequeathed his body to science so that scientists would find out the reasons for his thinness. With a height of 168 centimeters, this unique person weighed only about 18 kilograms.
Commodore Nutt. George Washington Morrison Nutt was born in 1848 as a dwarf. At the age of 13, he was already touring rural New England with a circus, and in 1862 began performing as an attraction at the American Museum of Barnum. The showman claimed that he paid Natt's parents 30 thousand dollars, promising to use the boy 3-5 years old, giving him a good education in return. Barnum immediately saw the showman in a smart and cheerful kid, already fully formed. Nutt was given a weekly salary of $ 12 with subsequent increases. Barnum spread rumors that he got an extremely talented dwarf, which attracted the interest of competitors. Nutt was given the stage name Commodore. A strong wardrobe of naval uniforms was carefully tailored for him. Even for his walks around the city, a special cart was built, allowing him to see the upper body of the dwarf. His trips to New York were part of an advertising campaign. In the 19th century, dwarfs were romanticized, they were perceived as children. Barnum played on this - Natt's debut in his museum became a sensation. The sensible Commodore was even received by President Lincoln himself. And in 1862, Barnum hired another dwarf, Lavinia Warren. Nutt immediately fell in love with her, even if she was a little older. But the competitor for the woman's heart was another dwarf, General Boy-with-finger. The love triangle even led to a physical showdown of the fans. And when Warren chose the General, Nutt got very angry. He even vowed never to marry. Soon the dwarf quarreled with Barnum and organized his own variety show, and then began working in the saloon. In 1881, Nutt died of complications of Bright's disease, never finding himself out of show business.
Lazarus and John Baptista Colloredo. These famous freaks lived in the 17th century. The Colloredo brothers were one of the earliest described examples of Siamese twins, who lived 150 years before the famous couple Chang and Eng. The Colloredo twins were born in Genoa in 1617. John was not even so much a man as an underdeveloped process. It grew from the ribcage, head downward and face downward from an older brother. His eyes were closed, and his mouth was constantly open. It was believed that he could speak. Nevertheless, he knew how to expressively sigh, cough, move and eat. Most likely, the brothers had a different digestive system. Lazarus loved him, constantly wiping his saliva away. He himself was quite mobile, touring throughout Europe. The Colloredo brothers were successful everywhere, even monarchs accepted them. At fairs, the freak was noticed by the courtiers of Louis XIV, who invited the twins to Paris and made them musketeers. They say that Colloredo frightened enemies, only opening his cloak. Amazingly, John was even able to save his brother's life. One day Lazarus killed the person who was teasing him. But the court decided that it could not execute one brother, since this would entail the death of another, innocent. The brothers lived for about 50 years, while Lazarus was even able to marry and have children.
Venus Hottentot. This woman's real name was Saarti Bartman. She was a representative of an African tribe that was brought to Europe for public viewing. The woman was captured by the Boers during the engagement. At the age of 16, Saarti was left an orphan and a widow - the Europeans killed her relatives. Then the woman became a servant for a wealthy farmer in Cape Town. In 1810, a twenty-year-old African woman was transported to London with the promise of wealth. In fact, Saarti was shown in the nude, showing an unusual physique for Europeans - protruding buttocks and pronounced genitals. This was the vicious practice of creating human zoos that entertained the crowd in the 19th century. After four years in London, Venus Hottentot was sold to the French, who once again paraded a colorful woman in a loincloth in Paris. And in 1815, the public lost interest in the African woman, she began to drink and engage in prostitution. This way of life quickly ruined Saarti, she died of smallpox. The woman's brain and labia were excised and displayed until 1974. And the remains of the unfortunate wife were returned to South Africa in 2002, thanks to the petition of Nelson Mandela.
Lady with a pig face. Rumors of the existence of such people appeared in England in the 17th century and were very popular. In the winter of 1814-1815, it was said in London that there was a certain young girl from a noble family who had the face of a pig. In different newspapers they wrote that there are witnesses to that who saw an unusual person with their own eyes. Due to the popularity of myths, some circuses were quick to announce that they have women with such faces. In fact, all such facts turned out to be hoaxes. The worst and most significant case occurred in the 1850s at a fair. The organizers of the show of the woman with the face of a pig actually showed a drunken shaved bear dressed in a woman's dress.