MYRTLE CORBIN – The Four-Legged Woman

MYRTLE CORBIN - The Four-Legged Woman

Myrtle Corbin, was known as the Four-Legged Woman – however that moniker was slightly misleading. While at a glance one could plainly see four legs dangling beyond the hem of her dress  only one pair actually belonged to her. The other set belonged to her dipygus twin sister.

Born in Lincoln County, TN in 1868 and spending most of her childhood in Blount County, AL – where she can be found in the 1880 census – her condition was incredibly rare. The tiny body of her twin was only fully developed from the waist down and even then it was malformed – tiny and possessing only three toes on each foot. Myrtle was able to control the limbs of her sister but was unable to use them for walking and she herself had a difficult time getting around as she was born with a clubbed foot. Technically, the ‘Four-Legged Woman’ only had one good, usable leg.

Myrtle was a popular attraction with P.T. Barnum, and later with Ringling Bros. and Coney Island. Her popularity was likely linked to her showmanship – she would often dress the extra limbs with socks and shoes matching her own and this gave her a truly surreal appearance. Myrtle was so popular that she was able to earn as much as $450 dollars a week.

At the age of 19 Myrtle married a doctor named Clinton Bicknell. It was then that other aspects of her bizarre anatomy became evident. It seems that her twin sister was also fully sexually formed – thus Myrtle possessed two vaginas. She had four daughters and a son and it has been rumored that three of her children were born from one set of organs and two from the other. Whether this is true or not; it is medically possible. In Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine by George M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle it was observed that both vaginas menstruated – thus indicating both were possibly sexually functional.

Myrtle passed on May 6, 1928, surrounded by family and friends.

To learn more about Myrtle and other Marvels purchase Very Special People.

Author, researcher and an expert of the odd, J. Tithonus Pednaud has been chronicling bizarre history and highlighting the lives of those born exceeding different for over a decade.

16 Comments

  • Reply January 20, 2008

    Tsunami

    I wonder if she ever met Francesco Lentini.

  • Reply April 23, 2008

    Anonymous

    How intriguing!

  • Reply November 13, 2008

    Lisa

    Wonder if she had her periods at the same time or different times for each uterus. Poor thing…that could be PMS 2x!

  • Reply March 18, 2009

    Jake

    I saw the video clip of parasitic twins you put on YouTube & noticed a pic of Myrtle that I’ve never seen before (the one with her in the black dress). I, too, am an avid fan of Myrtle Corbin & would love to have a copy of it. Is there any way you could possibly email one to me? Thanks!!

  • Reply December 23, 2009

    Mason

    I am getting this photo tattooed this saturday along with the tocci twins. Can I post them when it is finished?

  • [...] that moniker was slightly misleading. While at a glance one could plainly see four legs … – read the full article hereShare/Bookmark [...]

  • Reply July 21, 2010

    José Carrilho

    Hi,

    The most important conclusion that one can take from this article is that a person with such peculiar “handycap” found someone who loved her.

    Best regards,

    José

  • [...] The real story of  Myrtle Corbin (the woman pictured above) is quite incredible. Click here if you’d like to read about it. [...]

  • Reply September 9, 2011

    Leisl

    My ex-husband used to claim that Myrtle was a relative of his (same last name). He said that she was buried in a cemetery in Cleburne, TX. I have looked around in two cemeteries in Cleburne and have yet to find a resting place. He could be pulling my leg (he was good at that) or could be true… Would be interesting to find out.

  • Reply February 14, 2012

    Cath

    I found out last night that Myrtle is/was my

  • Reply March 27, 2012

    The Human Marvels

    Myrtle Corbin has been a big hit this weekend on Reddit! So many new and curious visitors. Have I mentioned the new Facebook comments integrated into the website? Commenting on articles has never been so easy!

    • Reply March 27, 2012

      Sabrina Soden

      Myrtle Corbin is my favorite!

    • Reply March 27, 2012

      J Tithonus Pednaud

      She has been one of mine for ages as well. Oddly enough, there is burlesque dancer in Toronto who has an act based around Myrtle. Let me tell you, it’s something you won’t soon forget.

    • Reply March 27, 2012

      J Tithonus Pednaud

      She has been one of mine for ages as well. Oddly enough, there is burlesque dancer in Toronto who has an act based around Myrtle. Let me tell you, it’s something you won’t soon forget.

    • Reply March 27, 2012

      Kara Wells O'Malia

      My ggrandma!

  • Reply April 1, 2013

    Lona Kokinda

    I have a cool picture of Myrtle, I think you’d like to see.

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