Bill Bojangles Robinson. (Using young black children in vaudeville acts was popular and represented a unique employment opportunity for talented kids. They usually sang and danced, and occasionally played musical instruments for the dimes and quarters he would make in beer gardens and burlesque houses). Orphaned shortly after his birth in 1878, he was raised by a grandmother for a few years.
The girl who made vaudeville famous, Eva Tanguay was larger than life. She earned the admiration of Aleister Crowley, who called her "the soul of America at its most desperate eagle-flight...the perfect American artist...ineffably, infinitely, sublime." Shocking for her day and age, she wrote her own songs, many of them odes to and about herself.
These postcards from the Charles McCaghy Collection at the Ohio State University Libraries feature burlesque dancers from the end of the 19th century. It’s fascinating to see how much styles and preferences have changed in the last hundred-odd years. I wonder what things will be like in the 2090′s…
Burlesque dancers of the 18902. Vintage photos collected by Charles H. McCaghy, a professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, reveal just how different beauty was 120 years ago than it is today.