Madame Petty was P.T. Barnum’s long-haired lady, photographed here circa 1870. A Brooklyn native, she was married to sea captain Henry Petty, who lost at sea off Cape Hateras in 1889.
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.