The art of sword-swallowing is older than the circus. Older than show business itself. Thought to have originated as an art-form in India among the Fakirs the swallowing of dangerous objects is a theme which still excites human interest wherever displayed. As a sideshow act, a "working act", sword-swallowing has been seen on virtually every midway, and in every ten-in-one since just after Barnum. And the danger cannot be underestimated, as performers have been mortally injured performing such feats as swallowing neon tubes. (to be continued)


above, very rare Charles EISENMANN Cabinet Card of Unknown Circassian Sword Swallower. While it is somewhat common to see Circassian Women appear with snakes and as Snake Enchantresses, it is without precedent to see a Sword Swallowing Circassian. Just one more proof of the old axiom that performers and showman had to constantly keep it different in order to keep the crowds coming in.
Sword Swallowers, Bayonet Swallowers, Neon Tube Swallowers, etc.

Real Photo Postcard of Mimi Garneau. Circa 1940.


List of Performers:

The Mighty Ajax (Joseph Milana) "King of Swords" "Arabian Sword Swallower"

Bancroft, Betty

The Amazing Blondini (Mike Blondini) "Bed of Nails"

Cliquot, Chevalier & Madam "The World's Greatest Sword Swallower (and Wife)"

Clifford, Edith "Champion Sword Swallowers of the World"

Clifford, Nellie

Devere, Marie [Ajax]

Dumont "World Wonder" [Ajax301]

Estelline Pike (Lovin, Estelline)

Fritz, Delno

Garneau, Mimi (Hazel June Thomas)

Grendol, Joseph

Karmi (Joseph B. Hallworth)

Katts, Patricia [blk 0-541]

Kortos, Peter (Appeared in Todd Browning's"Unholy Three")

Lady Beth

Lady Sandra (Sandra Reed)

Leslie, Capt. Don

Linton, Alex (Alec) "Prince of Swords"

Long, Louise [wardhall]

Jack Loonie (Jackie Lynn)

Prince Lucky Ball

Long, Louise

Milo Milse [blk 0-538]

Miss Patricia [clc]

Price, Edna

Rafael [dpm]

Rapp [rl51]

Raymond, Chas.

Richiardi, Ricky [blk 0-716]

Riley, Joe [Ajax]

Smith, Leatha

Victorina (Kitty Fischer)


References for this page:

[b] Baraboo

[d] doghouse collection

[rj] Ricky Jay

Multi-talented, appears in more than one category.

Full article needed and/or forthcoming

Appeared in Ripley's cartoon or venue



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Last update: 10/28/06