Notes: In 1883, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch declared Madame Meyers (sic) "the best bearded woman in the business" (see February 15 issue).
Viola E. Myers (6 June 1854 to 24 April 1931) was born in Wilcox, Pennsylvania and in the 1870s and 1880s was the most prominet bearded woman in the US. She was married to a sideshow ticket taker, Amos Myers. She appears to have worked the sideshow circuit off and on for many years, often doing astrology readings (her profession on US census reports and her death certificate is given as "planet reader").
An extended profile of Myers accompanied by a portrait can be found in the April 1877 issue of the Archives of Dermatology. She was also mentioned in Geoge Henry Fox's The Use of Electricity in the Removal of Superfluous Hair (1886). A pamphlet about her appeared in 1878 with the title: Madame Viola, the Bearded Lady.
2-3/16 by 3-1/2 inches albumen silver print on a CDV mount. An original photograph on a medium-thickness mount. The photographer is not identified.
Edition + Condition: An excellent contrast image, with good tone throughout. On a near fine mount. Captioned in pencil in an early hand on the back (verso), "Mrs. A[mos] Myers. Elk County, Pa. Age 25/4."
Publication: (ca. 1880).
Item No: #307605