Myrtle Corbin, The Four Legged Girl
Today is the birthday of Joseph Myrtle Corbin (1868-1928). Myrtle possessed an extra set of small, doll-like legs. Corbin was a dipygus; her axis had split during her development as an embryo. She actually had two pelvises, and each of the inner legs went with one of the outer ones. In addition, one of the outer legs was club-footed. She dressed all four legs in the same socks and boots. Her father had exhibited her since infancy; when she was 14 she hired by P.T. Barnum. Later she worked for Ringling Bros. (then a separate organization), and at Coney Island. At age 19, Myrtle retired from show business and married Dr. Clinton Bicknell and gave him five children. It is rumored that two of them were produced with one vagina, three with the other.
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 my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc