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Friday, June 15, 2007

Limbless People I Have Met

One man's memoirs of meetings with the limbless, from an article in the London Life February 16, 1929 by Wallace Stort:

"I have taken every opportunity that has occurred of seeing limbless ladies on exhibition in whatever part of the globe I happened to find myself. In addition, one's ordinary journeying about the streets, or visit to theatres, restaurants etc., quite frequently yield little adventures and experiences that may be worth recording."


"Violetta", whom I saw at Coney Island, New York, USA, during my visit to the States in the summer of 1926, is a remarkable example of this type of anomaly. About 19, extremely pretty, she is literally only a shapely trunk, the arms being completely absent from the shoulders, and the legs from the hips - not even stumps being present in either case.

She was quite cheerful and completely unconcerned when seen, and, like so many of her kind, seemed to welcome the interest she aroused in the crowds who paid to see her.

Madame Josephine
"Madame Josephine" I saw in Berlin about eighteen months ago, and she is probably the most extraordinary "freak" now before the public. She also is completely without either arms or legs; but in her case the lower part of the trunk is dwarfed, so that by an ingenious concealment of the dwarfed lower part within the cushioned top of the pedestal on which she rests during exhibition, she appears to be only a living bust, her large prominent breasts actually resting on the pedestal top! The effect is extraordinary and until this living head and shoulders - for that is all she seems - is carried round among the audience, still resting on the pedestal top, one is completely convinced that the whole thing is an illusion. I understand that the trunk is quite perfectly formed, though reduced, below the breasts, to midget proportions. The wonderful fragment of a woman has actually been married twice, the second marriage having taken place early this year in America!