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25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

In the day and age of modern science, we can sometimes overlook how far we have come as a society. Sideshows were made popular in the 1900’s because they offered a glimpse at oddities that were unknown to most people. Sideshows gave people who were ‘different’ a home where they could be comfortable around their peers. Sideshow performers became more of a family than just friends, looking out for each other and caring for one another. With the popularity of TV, these sideshows seemed to disappear almost completely until the early 1990’s when Jim Rose created the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow. Below are 25 pictures of sideshow performers and their acts.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

1. Annie Jones, AKA The Bearded Woman, was an advocate against the word ‘freak’ being used when it came to sideshows.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

2. Sideshow boxers.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

3. Ella Harper was also known as Camel Girl due to her legs.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

4. Elastic Skin-Man

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

5. The Four-Legged Woman

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

6. Johnny Eck, AKA The Half Man, was a performer, but also a conductor of an orchestra and an accomplished painter.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

7. One sideshow perform with hand and leg deformities.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

8. Humans weren’t the only participants in sideshows. This is the headless chicken that lived for 18 months without an attached head.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

9. Martin Laurello was also known as The Human Owl. He was born with the ability to turn his head a full 180 degrees.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

10. Koo Koo – The Bird Girl

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

11. Above is The Legless Acrobat in a picture with his family.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

12. Lucia Zarate was only 18 years old and weight only 4 lbs! She is the smallest person to ever have lived.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

13. This is Josephine-Joseph. It’s unknown if she was truly a hermaphrodite, or possibly a really skilled performer. Regardless, she was able to land a movie role in the 1932 movie Freaks.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

14. Look at that strength! John Jennings was known as The Modern Samson.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

15. The Pierced Man

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

16. The Human Pin Cushion

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

17. Pip and Flip

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

18. The Living Skeleton’s real name was Isaac Sprague.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

19. Prince Randian didn’t let the fact that he had no limbs hold him back. He was able to write, shave, and roll cigarettes with his mouth. He was also fluent in Hindu, English, German, and French.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

20. Artoria Gibbon was known as The Tattooed Lady.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

21. The Two-Headed Man

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

22. This performer was known as Unzie The Albino.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

23. Alice E. Doherty was known as The Minnesota Woolly Baby.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

24. Horace Ridler attended Oxford University and was a major in World War 1. He decided to transform his body adding zebra stripes to his body over a period of over 500 tattoo sessions because he wanted to be a sideshow attraction.

25 Vintage Photos Of Sideshow Performers That Were Truly Bizarre

25. One of the performers with large feet and another with no arms.

It’s amazing how far we have come as a society. We no longer have sideshows with every circus, fair, or event. While you can still find sideshows around the world, the performers are there voluntarily typically performing acts that they have been trained in doing like sword swallowing, walking on broken glass, or being a contortionist.

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