A hard-working sword swallower was born in Russia on this day in 1881. He had more professional names than a check kiter and I’ve no idea which of them came first, although over his half century career at various times he went by Milo, Milse, Milo Milse, Prince Milo, Prof. Milse, Milo Larway (with the variations in spelling of Laraway, Laroway and Laurie), Prince Laurie, The Great Laurie, etc. His nationality was sometimes given as Spanish.
His pitch card claimed he could swallow up to 24 swords at one time, had learned the trade as a child, and that he had circled the globe three times as a performer. We know that he was in America by 1910 because he performed with the Dreamland Circus Sideshow in Coney Island by that year. Over the ensuing decades he worked with Hagenbeck-Wallace, Al G. Barnes, the Miller Brothers 101 Wild West Show, and others. A retirement party for him in Detroit was publicized in 1954, although the year of his death is not known. More here at the Sword Swallowers Hall of Fame.
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To learn more about the variety arts, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous
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