From 1840 until 1940, freak shows by the hundreds crisscrossed
the United States, from the smallest towns to the largest
cities, exhibiting their casts of dwarfs, giants, Siamese
twins, bearded ladies, savages, snake charmers, fire eaters,
and other oddities. By today's standards such displays would be
considered cruel and exploitative—the pornography of
disability. Yet for one hundred years the freak show was widely... more...