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In the 19th century, the combination of the popular issues of slavery, the Orient, racial ideology, and sexual titillation made circus leader P. T. Barnum decided to capitalize on this interest. He displayed young women with tall, teased hairstyles (the fantasy of which had nothing to do with the hairstyles of actual Circassian women) and called them "Circassian beauties." Barnum first "Circassian" was called "Zalumma Agra" and introduced at his American Museum in New York from 1864.

Zula Zelick Circassian Queen Circus (Coulrophobia -Circus Memorabilia & Side Show Freaks) at Teardrop Memories

Sideshow World, Freak Central, Sideshow Performers from around the world.

The Sideshow and Freakshow Central with Sword Swallowers, Fire Breathers, Freaks, Sideshow Performers, and more.

The Pierced Man, a circus performer from the 1930s

Vintage Gal: The Pierced Man, a circus performer from the Roger: This is awesome and disturbing.

Circus Freaks of the Past

Lobster Boy Grady Stiles - born with ectrodactyly, where the fingers and toes are fused together to form claw-like extremities

vintage everyday: 40 Interesting Vintage Portraits of People from the Late 19th and Early 20th Century

vintage everyday: 40 Interesting Vintage Portraits of People from the Late and Early Century

Zobeide Luti wore low-cut dresses to enhance the stories of her harem-life past. These young Circassian beauties were tall, with high teased hair (like an Afro) and supposedly from the Caucasus region of western Asia, although Barnum hired local girls. According to legend Circassian beauties made the finest concubines, which is why Barnum turned them into a sideshow. Date: 1870 circa 5 years Original Format: Glass Negative Print Photographer: Mathew Brady

Zobeide Luti wore low-cut dresses to enhance the stories of her harem-life past…

Circus side -show The Living Skeleton

Female living skeletons weren't as common as males, probably because they couldn't show as much of their figure. that people paid to see this.

Alice E. Doherty, toured as The Minnesota Woolly Baby in freak shows from age of 2, 1889 - 1915.

The ‘Minnesota Woolly Girl’ – Alice Elizabeth Doherty – holds the unique distinction of being the only recorded American to be born with hypertrichosis lanuginosa. A condition exceedingly rare and.

Mother and Child, circa 1890's

Nov 1894 - Mother and child, circa How often do you see photos like this of well-off black family before the turn of the century? And dark-skinned too! Jamaica let us NEVER forget.

Ella Kate Ewing was born March 9, 1872, and died January 10, 1913. She stood 8′ 4″. She used her great height to earn a living as a sideshow attraction, popularly known as “The Missouri Giantess.”

Ella Kate Ewing was born March and died January She stood She used her great height to earn a living as a sideshow attraction, popularly known as “The Missouri Giantess.

Actress Pearl Mae Bailey with her husband, Louis Bellson, an Italian American jazz composer, arranger, bandleader and drummer. Circa 1950s

Pearl Bailey & husband jazz drummer Louis Bellson were married 38 years. Reportedly fell in love while sharing a cab. I Love Pearl Bailey!

Vintage photo 1860s TOM THUMB & WIFE As Young Children Tom Thumb,Miss Lavinia / Warren The Giant / barnum circus

Vintage photo TOM THUMB & WIFE As Young Children Tom Thumb,Miss Lavinia / Warren The Giant /. Interesting how there used to be little difference between adult & children's clothing designs.

Circassian Woman

Date unknown Circassian Beauty In the P. Barnum exhibited women whom he claimed were Circassian beauties. They wore a distinctive Afro hair style and were known as “moss haired girls.

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