Freak Photos 19th c.

Fine Freak Photography


With the advent of photography in the 19th century, people who displayed themselves
had a new and lucrative business selling these souvenirs to the public.
These photographs document the thousands of people who displayed themselves
as well as working acts with unusual talents.
The Freak Museum archive holds over seven thousand cdv's, cabinet photos and other mounted photos.


Two Headed Baby
post mortum
mounted photo, American ca. 1890's

Mattie Lee Price
The Georgia Magnet
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Mattie Lee Price
The Georgia Magnet
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Skeleton Couple
cabinet photo, Obermuller and Son, NYC

Armless & Legless Man
He is wearing four prosthetic appliances
cabinet photo, Obermuller & Son, NYC

Cara Boner 
Handless Woman
cabinet photo, Willis, Crawfordsville, Indiana

Capt. Annett
The Unluckiest Man Alive
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Unidentified Bearded Fat Lady
 cabinet photo, Nye, Albert, Lewiston, Maine

Capt. Cooper
English Giant
cabinet photo, Baker, Columbus, Ohio

Capt. Cooper
English Giant, Facial Study
cabinet photo

Living Two Headed Cow
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Paul Crowley
Skeleton Boy
cabinet photo, Pentz, York, Pennsylvania

Hattie Johnson
Armless Dwarf
cabinet photo, Moerk, Atlantic City, NJ

Zulu Warriors
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Two Headed Calf
Taxidermy Mount
cabinet photo, Smith, Bristol, Vermont

Annie Jones
Bearded Lady showing her floor length hair
cabinet photo, Wendt, NYC

Annie Jones
Bearded Lady
cabinet photo, Obermuller and Kern, NYC

A. S. Daniels
Fat Man
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Frieda Montz
Circassian Sword Walker
cabinet photo, Wendt, NYC

John Craig and Wife Zola Ayers
Fat Man & Long Haired Lady Snake Charmer
cabinet photo, extensive biography hand written on back of card

Fedor Jeftichew
Jo Jo the Dog Faced Boy
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Beno, South Sea Islander
wife of South Sea Island Joe
cabinet photo, Obermuller and Kern, NYC

Lemily
American Japanese Juggler
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Chang
Chinese Giant, Facial Study
cabinet photo, British

Madame Yucca
The Lady Samson
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

 Clare Sisters
Fat Ladt and fat Lady Dwarf
cabinet photo, Fearnaught, Indianapolis

 Bound Foot Chinese Women
cabinet photo, Wendt, NJ

 The Great Lala Coolah
cabinet photo, Obermuller & Kern, NYC

African American Microcephalics
posed with orangutan
 cabinet photo, Wendt, NJ

J. H. Price, Skin Shedder
 cabinet photo

Emma Schaller
Skeleton Lady
cabinet photo, Wendt, NYC

 Nicodemus Senjo
The Indescribable
 cabinet photo, Obermuller & Son, NYC


 South Sea Natives
probably Gilbert Islands 
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC


 The Sacred Burmese Tattooed Bull
 cabinet photo, biographical leaflet

Aztecs of Ancient Mexico
Microcephalic brother and sister
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Idaletta & Wallace
Man & Woman Fish
cdv, American ca. 1880

Bear Boy
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

 Count Orloff
Transparent Man
cabinet photo, C. F. Billings, Kensett, Iowa

Ruto Semm
Fiji Jim, the Cannibal
cabinet photo, Weed, Detroit, Michigan

Annie Semm
Fiji Annie, wife of Fiji Jim
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Bunker Family
This extraordinary photo shows Chang & Eng Bunker, their wives and children,
including the latest addition to the clan. Their most recent child is held by an African American nanny,
probably one of their former slaves.
cdv, Israel, Baltimore, Maryland

Three Legged Colt
cabinet photo, probably Iowa

Mlle. Adelina
Circassian, Tight-rope and Juggler
cdv, Wood, NYC

Blazek Sisters
Siamese Twins
cdv, Ocunobr

One Legged Gymnasts
cabinet photos, Eisenmann, NYC

Caddie Clare
Fat Lady
cdv, Fearnaught, Indianapolis

Davis Family
Leopard or Spotted Family
cabinet photo, Wendt, NJ

Millie Edwards
Midget
cdv, Brown, Barnes & Bell, London

Heinrich Haag
Elastic Skin Man
unusual diamond shaped mounted photo

Lilliputian Souvenir
cdv, E. & H. T. Anthony, NYC

Chauncey Morlan & Wife Annie, nee Bell
cdv of a poster advertizing the couple while on European tour.
ca. 1896-1897

Ella Harper
Camel Girl
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Louis Wilkins
The Kansas Giant
cabinet photo, Obermuller and Kern, NYC

Prince Mongo
Zulu Chief shown with torture board and snakes
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Alexander Bell
Tattooed Pain Proof Man
cabinet photo

Unidentified African Savage
cdv, Eisenmann, NYC

Unidentified Wild Men
cdv, Wilkes, Baltimore

George Cardosa
Tattooed Man
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Eliza Sebastian
"Big Eliza" Fat Lady
cabinet photo

Etta Lake
Elastic Skin Woman
cabinet photo, Pentz, York, PA.

"The African Pigmy Dwarf"
"Imported by William Cross, Naturalist, Liverpool"
The above is printed on back the cdv.
This person probably exhibited at  
Cross' Menagerie and Museum, Earle Street, Liverpool.


Harry Williams
Half Man
cdv, R. Kenney, Valley City, D. T.

Harry Williams
Half Man
cabinet photo

Barnum's Collection of Curiosities
 Original engraved by Waters & Son, New York.
 Original printed by Thos. Mcllroy & Co., New York. 
cdv, E. & H. T. Anthony, NYC

Human Curiosities at Barnum's Museum
 cdv, E. & H. T. Anthony, NYC

Tintype of the Jones Siamese Twins

George Stall, the Mexican Wildman
first year on exhibit
cabinet photo

George Stall, the Mexican Wildman
a few years later
cabinet photo, Wendt, NYC

George Stall, the Mexican Wildman
at the height of his career
cabinet photo, Eisenmann, NYC

Rubber stamp on back of Eisenmann photo

 George Stall, the Mexican Wildman
part lion, part man
cabinet photo, Wendt, Boonton, NJ

C. Tach
The African Horned Man
cabinet photo, Weed, Detroit

Chick with Four Legs
CDV by Carnell, Waterloo, N. Y.



Photographic histories are a series of photos detailing a performers career. Some careers lasted only one season, others continued for decades. Histories are interesting because they document a performers development regarding costume, presentation, elaboration of act as well as their age. Freak Museum has built many histories of people who were exhibited. Below is an example of a photographic history.

Myrtle Corbin
The Four Legged Girl

More accurate information will be posted as available

age about 4 or 5 years
cdv, A. J. Allhands, Normal, probably Illinois
photographer's information is hard to read
probably taken in 1876

age about 6 or 7 years
cdv, Hull, Carbondale, Pa

age about 8 or 9 years
cdv, no photographer

age about 11 or 12
cdv, Applegate, Philidelphia

age about 12 or 13
cdv, no photographer


age 14
probably taken in 1885
cdv, Eisenmann, NYC

age 14
probably taken in 1885 
cdv, Eisenmann, NYC
 
age about 20 or 21
 cdv, Eisenmann (unmarked), NYC

age about 24 or 25
cabinet photo, Rich's, Chicago

age 24
cabinet photo,Charles Eisenmann, NYC


age about 41
cabinet photo, Wendt (unmarked), Boonton, NJ

earlier photo sold when age 54 or 55
real photo postcard, dated Coney Island 1923
The negative from the earlier photo was reused

Life and career histories are carefully researched and assembled to support the photographs and artifacts in the collection. Below is an example; what follows is a excerpt from Myrtle Corbin’s file.

1868 Born May 12
1873 with Great Eastern Circus
1874 Myrtle's father took her to California, authorities closed the exhibition
1875 Possibly exhibited in Charleston, South Carolina
1879 With Cooper & Bailey’s Great London Shows
1882 With P. T. Barnum’s Circus
1883 With P. T. Barnum’s Circus
1885 With Col. George H. Wood’s Congress, appearing at Drew’s Museum, Cleveland; Brandenburg’s  Ninth & Arch St. Museum, Philadelphia; Jacob & Proctor’s Museum, Albany; Austin & Stone’s Museum, Boston; Kohl & Middleton's West Side Museum, Chicago; Globe Museum, New York City, Myrtle's first museum appearance in NYC;  Sackett & Wiggins' Dime Museum, St. Paul.
1886 Sackett & Wiggins' Dime Museum, Minneapolis; Sackett & Wiggins' St. Paul Dime Museum; Harris’ Museums in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh; Doris’ Museum, New York City.
1890 Doris’ Museum Eighth Avenue Museum, New York City; Kohl & Middleton’s St. Paul Museum and  Kohl & Middleton’s Museum, Cincinnati; Wonderland Museum and Theater, Buffalo; World's Museum, Allegheny City [since 1907 part of Pittsburgh], Pennsylvania.
1891 Probably at home, not working
1892 Kohl & Middleton’s Museum, Cincinnati; World's Museum, Allegheny City [since 1907 part of Pittsburgh], Pennsylvania; Grand Street Museum, New York City; spends most of the season at Huber’s Palace Museum, New York City.
1893 Doris’ Museum, New York City.
1894 Coney Island, New York, possibly as a single attraction; Huber’s Museum, New York City.
1895 Huber’s Museum, New York City.
1896 Huber’s Museum, New York City.
1897-98 Probably at home, not working.
1899 Wonderland Musee, Buffalo; Huber’s Museum, New York City.
1903 Pawnee Bill's Show.
1906 Huber’s Museum, New York City; Austin & Stone’s Museum, Boston.
1909 Electric Park, Kansas City, Missouri; Austin & Stone’s Museum, Boston; Huber’s Museum, New York City; Ninth & Arch Street Museum, Philadelphia.
1912 Dreamland Circus Sideshow, Coney Island, New York.
1913 Al G. Barnes Circus sideshow.
1914 Riverview Park, Chicago; World at Home Shows.
1915 S. W. Brundage Shows.
1916 C. H. Armstrong’s Traveling Museum.
1918 Huber’s Museum, Coney Island, New York.
1922-23 World’s Circus Sideshow, Coney Island, New York.
1928 Myrtle dies May 6.
Please come back, more to come as time permits.

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