Ella Harper - Life ExamplesLife Examples
Ella Harper was called the camel girl

Born in Tennessee in 1.873, she was born with an orthopedic condition that caused her knees to bend backwards, called congenitalgenu recurvatum. 

This deformity is very rare.

Her preference to walk on all fours resulted in her nickname "Camel Girl".

In 1.886 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 1.886 and I intend to quit the show business and go to school and fit myself for another occupation.

Ella received a $200 a week salary that likely opened new doors for her.

After 1.886 no references can be found relating to Ella the "Camel Girl".

In 1.886, Ella was the star of W. H. Harris’s Nickel Plate Circus, often appearing accompanied by a camel when presented to audiences and she was a feature in the newspapers of every town the circus visited.

Those newspapers touted Ella as ‘the most wonderful freak of nature since the creation of the world’ and that her ‘counterpart never did exist’.

The back of Ella’s 1886 pitch card is far more modest in its information.

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 1.886 and I intend to quit the show business and go to school and fit myself for another occupation.’ 

It appears that Ella did indeed move on to other ventures and her $200 a week salary likely opened many doors for her.


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