Stories of nineteenth-century albinos caught in the lens of a photographer
During the 1800s, if you were different in appearance from most people, your fate was sealed. You could hardly get a job anywhere, you would not have a chance to get an education, and in General, the chances of simple survival were often not so great. It concerned including people with albinism. The best fate for them at that time was to go to the circus and show themselves for money.
Albinism is characterized by a complete or partial absence of pigments in the skin, and this condition is congenital, and is not subject to treatment. On average, people get one albino for every 20,000 newborns, which is not a lot, but this figure also includes people where albinism almost never happens, and where it appears much more often. For example, in Tanzania, an albino child is born for every 1,400 people, and in the Kuna Indian nation-for every 145 people.
Unzi could be seen at the Barnum and Bailey circus in new York. He was born in New Zealand, where he was spotted when the circus was on tour there. In the United States, a man spoke with the accompanying story that he was a rare representative of “Australian aboriginal beauty”, that he was born in a wild tribe where Unzi was worshipped as a God.
Rudolph and Antoinette Lukaschi were discovered by Barnum in Amsterdam in 1857. He gave them a new name, Neg…OS, told the audience that they were originally from Madagascar and assured that their red eyes continue to see everything clearly even when they themselves are asleep. The couple was transported to the United States, where they garroted with a circus. They later moved to another circus owned by the lemon brothers. In total, Rudolph and Antoinette performed in front of people for 40 years. When Antoinette died, Rudolph continued performing as an albino violinist.
Helen Ann Windman Walker with her twin brother, Henry. They were born to an African-American family, and from a young age began to perform together as “White and black twins”, with Helen given a new name-Nellie Walker and referred to as ” White neg…Itasca”.
Tom Jack performed as the Ice King. In the photo, he is posing next to another circus actor — Tom-Tam. Tom Jack was born in the Czech Republic, later his parents moved him to Sweden, where he found work in a circus.
Tom Jack in 1910. As part of the circus, Tom began performing first as a clown, and later as an illusionist and magician. Tom performed difficult tricks to free himself from chains and ropes, began to travel with performances in Europe and eventually made a pretty good fortune.
An albino girl named Millie Lamar. Millie traveled with a circus in the United States and performed as a telepath.
Sisters Florence and Mary Martin. Both had very long white hair. Both performed at Barnum’s circus.
In addition to performing in the circus, albinos also often posed for postcards. These postcards were popular with both ordinary residents of the United States and collectors.