2. Ella Harper: THE CAMEL GIRL
This is the text from Ella Harper’s pitch card. A pitch card was an advertising flyer for attractions at a sideshow.
“I am called the camel girl because my knees turn backward. I can walk best on my hands and feet as you see me in the picture. I have traveled considerbly in the show business for the past four years and now, this is 1886 and I intend to quit the show business and go to school and fit myself for another occupation.”
I have actually seen a living case of this in Verona, Italy. A woman was kneeling on the road begging but her legs were bent in front of her at the knee rather than behind.
3. Martin Laurello: THE HUMAN OWL
The man who we have come to know as Martin Laurello was born Martin Emmerling in Nuremburg, Germany around 1886.
He began to perform his act in Europe when in his 20’s and brought it over to America in 1921.
He appeared several times at Coney Island and worked also for Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey’s sideshow.
He also worked for Dick Best’s Royal American Shows and as late as 1945 was appearing with Ripley’s shows along with “Popeye Perry” and “Junior Stiles”, 7-year old Lobster Boy.