(Philadelphia: A. Newman, Photographer), [ca. 1873-1875]. Image approx. 3.88 x 2.25 inhes on a slightly larger mount, photographer's printed title and imprint on the verso. A litlte chipped along the upper edge of the image; slight chipping to the verso; a little light wear and soiling; in very good condition. Item #16197
A fine studio image of famed performer Eli Bowen (1844-1924) with his wife Mattie and his oldest son Frank, the family looking every inch (so to speak) a successful and respectable middle-class clan. Eli Bowen had been born with so-called "seal limbs" for feet (a condition known as phocomelia) and became an acrobat and sideshow performer known variously as "the Legless Acrobat" or as "the Handsomest Man in Showbiz." Given the evident age of Frank, and that Frank's next youngest brother Robert was born ca. 1876, this photo likely dates from the early to mid-1870s.