Step right up, Step right up! The show is about to begin as we explore the world of the circus and those who made and make a magical place to visit. The tradition of the circus has a long incredible history as we learned from last week, but that history lesson is not over today as I will make it point of how history and even film has influenced the circus.
For months month’s now we have explored the world of the circus and those performers we call freaks, although the term itself it derogatory and should not be used today, this is what they were referred to. I stand by using the terms of those times, but we must always remember these were human beings that should have been treated better but weren’t always. Many of the performers we have profiled lived incredibly sad lives and some lives very exciting lives t a great deal of money for their talents and eccentricities. These performers did not have a lot of options to live a normal life and many times society outcaste them living many no choice but to join a circus or freak show to make a living. Today these people hopefully would be respected and even maybe have a rockstar status for their differences, but society is still a cruel place today.
Can you imagine if the Elephant man existed today? Or Lobster boy or any of the other performers I have profiled here. Its hard to say if society would accept them or run-in fear over their differences. One type of performer that has seemed to have a normal life is “Little People”, where today many little people are incredible performers in film and television like one of my favorite Warwick Davis who has been in multitude of films like Willow and Harry Potter.
There are so many performers that have been forgotten or their stories go untold because of little or no real information other than a picture and some history, but they existed. Some of the so called freaks were not freaks at all, but unusual in their appearance all human beings of course, but it’s sad that we as society exploited that to make money and bring fame.
Previous Profiles and Stories
Charlotte Vogel (Susi the Elephant Skin Girl)
Felix Wehrle (The Elastic Man)
The Human Caterpillar
T.A. Valenzulea (The World’s Biggest Man) (B. 1886, D.1925)
Jennie Quigley (August 20, 1850- March 11th, 1936)
Issaac W. Spraque and Peter Robinson (The Original Thin Man)
The Muse Brothers
Edouard Beaurpre (Worlds Tallest Man)
Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man)
Stephan Bibrowski (Lionel the Lion-faced Man)
General Tom Thumb and Admiral Dot
Series Feature #9 – Life in The Circus From Yesterday to Today! – General Tom Thumb and Admiral Dot | Joseph’s Adventures in Writing (josephmeyercreatives.com)
Ohio Bigfoot Lady
Series Feature #8 – Life in The Circus From Yesterday to Today! – Fannie Mills (Ohio Bigfoot Lady) | Joseph’s Adventures in Writing (josephmeyercreatives.com)
Grady Stiles (Lobster Boy)
Series Feature #7 – Life in The Circus From Yesterday to Today! – Grady Stiles Jr.(Lobster Boy) | Joseph’s Adventures in Writing (josephmeyercreatives.com)
The Pinheads Pip/Flip and Schlitizie-
Series Feature #6 – Life in The Circus From Yesterday to Today! – Schlitzie, Pip and Flip (Aka Pinheads) | Joseph’s Adventures in Writing (josephmeyercreatives.com)
Myrtle Corbin (The Four Legged Girl)
Series Feature #5 – Life in The Circus From Yesterday to Today! – Myrtle Corbin (The Four Legged Girl) | Joseph’s Adventures in Writing (josephmeyercreatives.com)
Koo-Koo the Bird Girl
Series Feature #4 – Life in The Circus From Yesterday to Today! – Koo-Koo the Bird Girl (Minnie Woolsey and Elizabeth Green) | Joseph’s Adventures in Writing (josephmeyercreatives.com)
The Siamese Twins –
Thomas Wedder (also known as Thomas Wadhouse) – Circa 1730
Thomas Wedders, also known as Thomas Wadhouse, a rather unknow Circus freak circa 1730 born in Yorkshire, England was a performer known to have the world’s longest nose in Mid-18th century. His nose measuring 7.8 inches long. Beyond his unusual appearance, little is known about his life. Articles of the period remarked him as intellectually disabled. Often referring to him as an idiot owing to an unknown condition, perhaps related to his unusual facial deformity.
Dying around 1780 in Yorkshire, at either 50 or 52 years of age.
Guinness Worlds records gave him the posthumous title of “World’s Largest Nose. A wax reproduction of his head is in the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum. Here is an additional article on Wadhouse : https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/article/the-heartbreaking-story-behind-the-guinness-record-holder-for-the-worlds-longest-nose/ar-AA14h5sp?cvid=45392a51317548c8ab7b7de16504550b#image=3
Since writing about all of these individuals I have a great respect for each of the individuals, despite there strangeness and uniqueness there were human beings. Many would feel sorry for them but I believe they wouldn’t want that , but to appreciate them and I do.
These men and women often exploited for there freakness and uniqueness, but I will say that many made money, some astounding amounts in those days. Do we still exploit people today, sure we do but we do it on the social stage of social media, on TV and movies for a profit?
Thank you for continuing to be on this journey with me as these posts are not as often but certainty not forgotten.
2 thoughts on “Series Feature #22 Life in the Circus from Yesterday to Today! – Thomas Wedders (World’s Largest Nose)”