Big Dreams for Camel Girl

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Ella Harper was born in Tennessee in 1873 and was known as the “Camel Girl”. She was born with an orthopedic birth defect that ella harper to followcaused her knees to bend backwards, a medical condition called Congenital Genu Recurvatum. It is a very rare disease. Ella preferred to walk on all fours was how she got the nickname “Camel Girl”. In 1886, she was a featured act in W.H. Harris’s Nickel Plate Circus, she was a big draw in every city that the circus traveled to appearing in newspapers wherever they went. The back of her pitch card read “I am called the camel girl because my knees turn backward. I 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.” Ella made a significant amount for a circus performer and after 1888,ella_harper not much is known about her. I like to think she did just what she said she was going to do.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ripley Trout
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 17:43:13

    I like to think so too. It’s amazing the evocative power of not knowing, especially nowadays when everything seems to be knowable.



    • Dagmar Tully
      Mar 04, 2014 @ 00:59:45

      I am pretty sure that making a life for yourself when the only people that accepted you were those in sideshows was really extremely hard. The fact that she made sure she was highly paid and had the drive to dream instead of settle really makes you think she just might have gotten her dreams.



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