talents

URSULA-BLUTCHEN-THE-POLAR-BEAR-PRINCESS

Ursula Blütchen – The Polar Bear Princess

The ‘Polar Bear Princess’, Ursula Blütchen, was born in Dresden, Germany on June 6, 1927 to an average working class family. Widely regarded as the most sensational animal trainer to have ever lived, Ursula’s unusual career didn’t begin until she was her mid 20’s. Initially hired in 1952 as a cleaning woman for the soviet…

Sword-swallowing

Sword Swallowing – The Most Dangerous Sideshow Stunt

Sword swallowing is arguably the most dangerous and misunderstood of all sideshow stunts. It is dangerous due to the physical proximity of cold steel to the internal organs of the performer and misunderstood as, more than all the sideshow arts, sword swallowing is commonly perceived to be the result of trickery. Sword swallowing is very…

zazel human cannonball

ZAZEL – Presenting The First Human Cannonball

On April 2nd, 1877 English-born Rosa Richter debuted a spectacular finale to her aerial act at the newly constructed Royal London Aquarium. The 16-year-old ‘Zazel’ descended into the depths of a cylindrical tube of cold metal and, with a great explosion, was propelled some 70 feet into the air and over the heads of amazed…

The-Mighty-Atom-Joseph-Greenstein

JOSEPH GREENSTEIN – The Mighty Atom

Some call him the ‘The Last Great Circus Stongman’ but perhaps a more accurate title would simply be ‘The Greatest Strongman”. Yosselle L. Greenstein was born three months premature on July 15, 1893 in Suvalk Poland into the poorest family in town. Weighing less than 4 pounds, “Joseph” Greenstein was fortunate to even survive his…

JOHN HOLTUM - The Cannonball Man

JOHN HOLTUM – The Cannonball Man

At one point in history every circus, carnival, and vaudeville hall had a strongman on hand to astound spectators. The image of a mustachioed man clad in leopard print while hoisting a bending barbell high aloft is still synonymous with circuses. The spectacles these men provided ranged from the highly impressive the the borderline mundane but in a golden age populated with hundreds of contemporaries an individual simply had to go the extra mile to ensure fame and fortune.

John Holtum elected to stand apart by becoming a human target. Holtum caught cannon balls fired directly at his him from point-blank range.