Life Shows & Pickled Punk Shows

ABOVE: Illustration from "Transactions of the Medical Society of the State of New York For The Year 1867."

Two-Headed Babies and monstrous births of all kinds preserved in bottles were a mainstay of the show scene from a very early age. Lou Dufour made a career (and a fortune) by gussying up the pickled punk show into his famed "LIFE Show" beginning in the 1920s. Captain Henry Boswell did the same in the 1940s, 50's and 60s. As did Ward Hall in the late-60s and early-70s.

The showing of unborn babies in jars goes back to the earliest museums, including The Kunstkamera (or Kunstkammer; Russian: Кунсткамера) in Saint Petersburg Russia, established by Peter the Great and completed in 1727.

From the 1930's, up until they were widely banned in the late-1960s and early-1970s, "pickled punk" shows were on nearly every carnival show in America.