Born with a rare condition that caused her knees to bend backward, Ella Harper, known professionally as The Camel Girl, received a $200 per week as the star of a touring freak show in the 1880s.
In 1886 she was featured as the star in W. H. Harris’s Nickel Plate Circus, appearing in newspapers wherever the circus visited. The back of her pitch card reads:
I am called the camel girl because my knees turn backward. I can walk best on my hands and feet as you see me in the picture. I have traveled considerably in the show business for the past four years and now, this is 1886 and I intend to quit the show business and go to school and fit myself for another occupation.
The original “Siamese twins,” Chang and Eng Bunker. 1800s.