Annie Jones The Esau Lady
Having more facial hair as a child than many adult men, Annie Jones seemed destined to be a sideshow performer. As an infant she caught the attention of P. T. Barnum who soon started exhibiting her as The Infant Esau, a name that would follow her throughout her career. As she matured, she changed her name to The Esau Child and eventually The Esau Lady.
Charles Tripp
One of the more handsome of Barnum’s performers, Charles Tripp always dressed in fine clothes, a dapper man of his time. Charles was born without arms and as a child learned to use his feet with great dexterity. He was one of Barnum’s stars whose performances consisted of acts appearing spectacular to the audience but were, in reality, quite easy for him: pouring tea, cutting paper dolls, and writing.
Laloo The Hindoo
What’s more intriguing than a man with a rare physiological anomaly? A man with a rare physiological anomaly from an exotic land. Laloo fit the bill on both counts, born in India with a parasitic twin.

John Coffey The Skeleton Dude
Any man can achieve an attenuated frame abstaining from food, but it takes a true prodigy to ingest large amounts of food and maintain the body of a human skeleton. Like any respectable human skeleton, James Coffey had a voracious appetite and yet sported a skeletal frame. No cause for his condition was ever found. At age 32 he stood five feet and six inches weighing no more than 70 pounds.
Francesco Lentini The Human Tripod
The man who would become known as “The Human Tripod” had a backstory that is a little hard to pin down. According to one account, Francesco and his family immigrated from Sicily in 1887 when he was eight years old. Born with a third leg growing from the base of his spine he could’ve have had a sideshow career as a child but instead chose to first pursue his education.
Ann E. Leak Born Without Arms
Born without arms, Ann was fortunate to have a family with money and was not exploited at an early age. While behind other’s her age in learning to walk she eventually learned to use her feet as most use their hands. She became so adept at using her feet she could skillfully sew and braid hair.

Millie-Christine McCoy The Two-headed Nightingale
The conjoined twins, Millie and Chrissie were born into slavery in 1851. Their family referred to the girls in the singular, calling her Sister. The girls continued this tradition, referring to themselves as one, using the name Millie-Christine. Due to her unique physique, she was a very attraction and as a result was sold to a variety of owners, at one point stolen by a swindler from Texas. At age two, she fetched a sale price of $10,000 or $30,000 depending on whom you believe.
Circassian Beauties
First exhibited in the 1860s, Barnum billed The Circassian Beauty as the purist example of the Caucasian race, brought to America from Circassia, on the Black Sea. In reality they were beautiful young women made up to look exotic, usually by teasing their hair. They frequently were given a name containing the letter Z. The Circassian Woman could sometimes be seen performing with a large snake.
Ella Ewing The Missouri Giantess
Ella Ewing was born a normal child in 1872, in Lewis County, Missouri. At the time no one knew what fate had in store. It was at age seven that she would begin to grow at a rapid rate. At age 17 she towered over her peers at seven feet. Upon her death she stood at eight feet.

Tocci Brothers
While some sideshow performers had careers spanning decades, others stayed in the spotlight for brief periods of time before vanishing into obscurity. One such example of the latter is the Tocci brothers, Giovanni and Giacomo. Polar opposites in personality, the conjoined twins spent their lives attached at the spine.

Tom Thumb
The sideshow sensation, Tom Thumb was born Charles Sherwood Stratton on January 4, 1838 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He started out life as a normal child, born weighing over nine pounds. However, by six months he stopped growing. He experienced various growth spurts throughout his life, and at the time of his death he towered at three feet and four inches, and weight a hearty seventy-five pounds.
Che Mah The Chinese Dwarf
Like many sideshow performers, Che Mah had an exotic backstory. It was claimed that he was born in Ningpo in 1838 off China’s coast on the island of Choo-Sang and discovered by Barnum on one of his worldwide scouting expeditions. The reality is likely more mundane.

Maximo and Bartola The Aztec Children
Some physical abnormalities such as microencephaly result in stunted mental development, those who suffered from microcephaly such as Maximo and Bartola were easily exploited. The siblings each had underdeveloped skulls and brains and a diminutive stature and in the sideshow were referred to as pinheads.

Annie Jones
Charles Tripp
Laloo the Hindoo
John Coffey the Skeleton Dude
Francesco Lentini the Human Tripod
Ann Leak Born Without Arms
Millie-Christine McCoy
Ciracassian Beauties
Ella Ewing the Missouri Giantess
Tocci Brothers
Tom Thumb
Che Mah the Chinese Dwarf
Maximo and Bartola
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