Edith Clifford, world champion sword swallower, c.1900. The art of sword swallowing originated over 4000 years ago in India, and requires the practitioner to use mind-over-matter techniques to repress natural reflexes in order to insert solid steel blades from 15 to 25 inches down the esophagus and into the stomach. There are currently less than a few dozen full-time professional sword swallowers actively performing around the world today.
Harry Earles (1902-1985) and his sisters, Gracie, Daisy and Tiny were part of the “The Doll Family,” a multitalented family of dwarf entertainers. Harry and Daisy appeared together in the movie Freaks. Harry was also one of the Lollipop Guild in The Wizard of Oz, and co-starred with Lon Chaney in both the silent and talkie versions of The Unholy Three.