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Clifford began swallowing swords in 1899 at the age of 13 after learning from sword swallower Delno Fritz. Clifford performed under the name "Mlle. Edith Clifford, Champion Sword Swallower of the World" and was said to have swallowed 18 to 20 inch blades without a problem. Joined Barnum & Bailey Circus in Vienna Austria in 1901, where Clifford became famous for swallowing razor blades, scissors, saw blades and bayonets. They worked with the Barnum Show for five years from 1901 through 1906.