The Wild Men of Borneo. Carte de visite. 4 ¼" x 2 ½:. Charles Eisenmann, NY photographer's imprint. Ca. 1880’s , Waino and Plutano, The Wild Men of Borneo, were actually Hiram and Barney Davis, two mentally retarded dwarf brothers from Connecticut. Though a mere 40 inches tall and weighing in at about 45 pounds each, the brothers were possessed of extraordinary strength. On stage, the pair would lift heavy weights, members of the audience, and wrestle – both male audience members and each other. Discovered by a traveling showman in 1850, dubbing them with new names, the showman concocted a story that the bloodthirsty pair had been captured by sailors in Borneo, but only after a desperate struggle requiring many guns, nets, and strong men. Starting in 1880, Waino and Plutano began appearing with P. T. Barnum, whose uncanny knack for promotion caused their careers to soar. Under Barnum, the Wild Men of Borneo became one of the world’s most famous attractions. The pair continued to work into the early part of the twentieth century, until Hiram’s death in 1905. Barney lived a while longer, but expired in 1912.VG+ cond.
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