Josephine Myrtle Corbin was born on May 12, 1868 was an American sideshow performer born as a dipygus.
This referred to the fact that she had two separate pelvises side by side from the waist down, as a result of her body axis splitting as it developed.
Each of her smaller inner legs was paired with one of her outer legs. She was said to be able to move her inner legs, but they were too weak for walking.
Corbin was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee, Corbin’s parents were William H. Corbin, aged 25 at the time of his daughter’s birth, and Nancy Corbin (née Sullins), aged 34.
Both parents were described by physicians who examined the infant shortly after her birth as being very similar in appearance, “both having red hair, blue eyes, and very fair complexion”; in fact, they looked so similar that the physicians felt compelled to point out that they were not “blood kin”.
The Corbins had four sons and four daughters in total, including a daughter from Nancy’s first marriage.
Myrtle’s birth was not marked by anything “peculiar about the labor or delivery” according to her mother, which was itself a stroke of luck: doctors who examined the child shortly after her birth noted that a breech presentation “would have proved fatal to the infant, and possibly to the mother.”
Corbin soon showed herself to be a strong child, weighing 10 lbs three weeks after her birth, and it was reported in a journal published later that year that she “nurses healthily” and was “thriving well”.
Corbin entered the sideshow circuit with the moniker “Four-Legged Girl from Texas” when she was 13 years old; one of her first promotional pamphlets described her as being as “gentle of disposition as the summer sunshine and as happy as the day is long.”
Her popularity in this industry was such that other showmen turned to exhibiting four-legged gaffs (falsified performances) and once Corbin herself was no longer performing, there were several phony four-legged women to whom audiences could turn.
At the age of 19 she married James Clinton Bicknell, with whom she had four daughters and a son.
Unfortunately, Corbin died on May 6, 1928
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