The Side Show Banner Line
by Jane Peterson
At the very back of the Circus Museum you will find the banner line, large paintings of
strange, but most interesting, people. With one exception (Punch and Judy) these are
Continuing our journey past The Bearded Lady on the banner line, we next meet Big Jim Tarver, the Texas Giant. Tarver was over 8 feet tall and weighed over 400 pounds. He was perfectly formed and proportioned, unlike many giants, who have glandular disorders resulting in malformation of limbs and features. In the side show Tarver made extra money by selling reproductions of a ring which he wore. The ring was so large that a half dollar could easily be passed through it.
Next on the banner line is Koo-Koo the bird girl. An enterprising side
show promoter noticed that a strange looking woman was being
stared at by all who saw her. She had a bulging forehead, pop eyes, a beaked nose,
no chin, and a scrawny neck. The promoter dressed her in a
Next in line are Eko and Iko. They were African American albinos who, like their counterparts the Eliophobus family had no pigment in their skin. They were thought to be discovered somewhere in Georgia. Their lack of pigmentation gave them a pasty complexion and grayish hair, and indeed they were quite strange in appearance. Again, side show entrepreneurs took advantage of their curiosity value. They were costumed in full dress suits with many fake medals and royal red sashes and dubbed Ambassadors from Mars. They appeared during the 1930's.
Will be continued.