April 4, 2013

a carte de visite photograph of Lulu, the ‘female’ trapeze artist formerly known as the boy acrobat El Niño Farini, who was actually Sam Wasgate (1855-1939), the adopted son of William Leonard Hunt (1838-1929),
known to the world as the tightrope walker and acrobat, The Great Farini.
(photo: Sarony, New York, circa 1875)

‘At a recent performance in a Dublin circus [Hengler’s] Lulu, the well-known gymnast, met with a terrible accident. She is propelled from a spring platform about sixty feet into the air, and then catches a trapeze. On this occasion she missed the catch, and did not fall perpendicularly on the net intended to receive her, but sideways against the gallery railings, and thence rebounded into the arena. Her injuries are most fearful, and the doctors entertain no hope of her recovery.’
(Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, Tuesday, 5 September 1876, p.3f)

‘The London Athenaeum thinks it may be worth stating that ”Lulu,” the female gymnast, whose recent fall from a trapeze in Dublin has excited public attention, is a man.’
(Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, Sunday, 17 September 1876, p.8g)

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