disfigured

Ichthyosis ALLIGATOR-SKINNED MARVELS

ALLIGATOR-SKINNED MARVELS

Persons with unusual skin conditions often used their affliction to their financial advantage in the world of the sideshow. The alligator-skinned (sometimes called elephant-skinned) individual became a very common attraction in the golden age of sideshow – in fact few popular sideshows were without at least one such individual. Not to be confused with the…

MARY ANN BEVANS – The Homeliest Woman

Mary Ann Bevans, commonly referred to as ‘The Homeliest Woman in the World’, likely suffered from acromegaly. She was born Mary Ann Webster in London, England in 1874 as one of eight children. She was employed as a nurse and began to display characteristics of acromegaly shortly after her marriage in 1903. Following the passing…

THE TIN NOSE SHOP

THE TIN NOSE SHOP

  Smithsonian Magazine features a wonderful article this month on the ‘Tin Noses Shop’ of London. The London General Hospital’s Masks for Facial Disfigurement Department, founded by sculptor Francis Derwent Wood, created astounding prosthetic faces for the wounded soldiers of World War I. The prosthetic masks were actually fashioned of galvanized and lightweight copper and…

FOOT BINDING

The unusual Chinese practice of foot binding began during the Tang Dynasty (618–907). Although the tradition was officially banned by the Republic of China in 1911, the practice continued for quite some time in rural areas. Foot binding was initially a rather mild and harmless practice, performed by women attempting replicating the look of imperial…

MORTADO---The-Human-Fountain

MORTADO – The Human Fountain

Yesterday I mentioned in passing that Mirin Dajo used his unique talent to turn himself into a ‘human fountain’. I would be in error if I did not mention Mortado, The Human Fountain. Mortado actually had holes bored through his feet and hands. These holes were not traditional piercings and, while seated in a specially…