Diagnosing the “Freak Show”

Presented by Brittney Benjamin

Many performers, actors and “living exhibits” in freakshows and circuses were just regular people who happened to have unique medical conditions. While their medical conditions may have limited them in every day society, their adaptive abilities were celebrated within the worlds of PT Barnum and the Ringling Brothers. This panel will focus on the medical history of some of the more famous performers, including the Elephant Man, Bearded Ladies, and conjoined twins, and delve into how their medical conditions affected their lives both in and out of the circus.