1890's Cabinet Card Photo Eli Bowen Charles Tripp

  • Sold for: Start Free Trial or Sign In to see what it's worth.
  • Item Category: Fine Art
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Feb 01, 2007
  • Channel: Auction House

UP FOR AUCTION : 1890's cabinet card photo by photographer Wendt of Boonton, N. J., as stated on the hardboard with caption of : BOWEN & TRIPP-TANDEM EXPERTS. Interesting celebrity photo of Charles B. Tripp the armless man and Eli Bowen the legless man . This intersting photo is showing Tripp on the back peddling and Bowen on the front, steering this tandem bicycle. Actual photo (mounted lengthwise) not including the hardboard mount backing, measures 3 and 13/16ths inches in height x 5 and 5/8th inches in width. PLEASE READ ABOUT THE CONDITION and PHOTO ENHANCEMENT.

BRIEF HISTORY OF : Charles B. Tripp born (without arms) in 1855 in Woodstock, Canada and died in 1939. Charles learned to dress himself, shave and write using his feet. Early years of Tripps life he made his living as a skilled carpenter/cabinet maker-working with detailed wood inlay designs when making his cabinets. In 1872 he joined Barnum's Circus and was hired without delay! His career as an oddity performer lasted for over fifty years, and he traveled with Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey as well as with a number of carnivals. In his acts, he performed such tasks as penmanship, portrait painting and paper cutting. At the turn of the century, Charles became interested in photography and was known as "The Armless Photographer". Charles Tripp was well represented as a respectable, responsible man during his years of being a celebrity/performer. Tripp at the age of 84 died in a retirement community in Salisbury, North Carolina.

BRIEF HISTORY OF : Eli Bowen (known as the legless acrobat) was born in 1844 in Ohio-born with an abnormal condition, Phocomelia/seal limbs. Eli was one of ten children, all normal except for him. Eli had no legs but had two feet, of two different sizes growing from his hips. As a young child, he used his arms for walking and would hold wooden blocks in his hands that enabled him to swing his hips between his arms. The strength/power he gained by walking on his arms allowed him to be a skilled acrobat and tumbler, which enhanced his sideshow performances. Bowen began his career at the Major Brown Colosseum at the age of 13, commencing at mid-western circus wagon shows and moving on to dime museums. By the 1870s he had toured the nation. He then joined Barnum and Bailey and toured Europe at the turn of the century. At the age of 26, Eli married Mattie Haight, who was ten years younger, and the two had five children. Eli Bowen once considered the handsomest man in his line business retired from show business in Ogden, California.

CONDITION & ENHANCEMENT : Ebay photo #2 has been darkened for better viewing. Photo #1 is what you will receive and more like the actual viewing. Photo has seen a lot of sunlight over the years apparently, as it is very light but still viewable. Comes with minor corner and edge wear with the lower right corner missing a piece of the hardboard. Some age toning and discoloration spots present, nothing too serious on this old unusal photo. Please view the photo for a closer look. Any questions please email before bidding.