1924 Ringling Brothers photo: "Congress of Freaks"

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/27/1924-ringling-brothers-photo.html

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"Congress of Freaks"

Yes, rings true for nowadays too.


What an amazing photo. Schlitzie, Lionel the Lion Man, Koo Koo, George & Willie Muse, and I forget the name of the fellow in the fuzzy costume with the violin.


first thing I thought of as well.

Great minds think alike!!!


The dreadlocked brothers on the upper level, third from the left and from the right, are George and Willie Muse, African-American albinos (hence “freaks”) from rural Virginia. Their story is told in the magnificent Truevine by Beth Macy. Can’t recommend the book strongly enough. It took a Herculean research effort and it takes us not only through the world of 20th century circuses and freak shows, but the whole Jim Crow south. it reads like a really good novel.


Funny, and also depressing when you think of how easy political jokes are these days.

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I cannot resist… Trump’s dark ops crew?

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“Please do not touch the giraffes”

Marge: You don’t have to join a freak show just because the opportunity came along.
Homer: You know, Marge, in some ways, you and I are very different people.

Thanks for the book recommendation. Sounds fascinating!

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