The Human Marvels: Presenting Peculiar People
January 3, 2009 9:52 AM   Subscribe

J. Tithonus Pednaud herein presents for your edification and enlightenment a curious collection of human marvels. You may call them oddities, freaks or monstrosities—whatever you will—but I call them incredible, persevering, resourceful and marvelous human beings. I chronicle their inspirational stories of triumph over nature, fate and the judgment of man. [Previously seen here. See also.]
posted by parudox (9 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The Ovitz family story is fucking insane. Just two days previous to the liberation, Mengele approached Elizabeth with a collection of glass eyes and attempted to match her shade. What the fuck!!
posted by Roman Graves at 10:30 AM on January 3, 2009

Presenting peerles prodigies of physical phenomina

I am more disturbed reading the first line of his banner than by watching the human pincushion act.
posted by Tube at 10:54 AM on January 3, 2009

I like the aesthetic of the site and the writing isn't bad, but it needs more pictures and more content me thinks.

Also, there is a ubiquitous search bar planted in the middle of every page (some sort of issue with Firefox I guess)
posted by sswiller at 12:14 PM on January 3, 2009

My friend's mom knew one of the most famous of these freaks, Johnny Eck, (The Half Man), who retired from the circuit to work on his visual art. I heard he was very affable and intelligent. He was good in Browning's Freaks.
posted by kozad at 12:30 PM on January 3, 2009

Gooble Gobble We Accept Her
posted by Xurando at 2:06 PM on January 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Starting out in Seattle, and continuing on a Canadian tour with us was a small person named Dolly the Doll Lady, seen here at about 48 seconds into this brief local TV segment.
posted by Tube at 3:05 PM on January 3, 2009

I wonder where my copy of Freaks: We Who Are Not As Others has gotten to. I've had a lifelong interest in freaks, especially since -- with advances in medical care and ultrasound -- persons with radical physical differences like this are much less visible in first-world countries. It's a way of life that's disappearing, although I'm not saying that wistfully at all. (Poor Julia Pastrana!) I appreciate the way this site focuses on the personalities of the performers.

My friend's mom knew one of the most famous of these freaks, Johnny Eck . . .

When I was in school, my campus had a bronze sculpture of JFK that was meant to show him as young, vigorous and fleeting, or something. It featured only his grinning head and his naked torso, poised on one arm. I always thought of it as the Johnny Eck Memorial.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:59 PM on January 3, 2009

The Elmer McCurdy story was used for a song by Brian Dewan, "The Cowboy Outlaw."
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:46 PM on January 3, 2009

I always thought of it as the Johnny Eck Memorial.

There really ought to be a Johnny Eck memorial. He was quite an amazing man.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:21 PM on January 3, 2009

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