This cabinet card portrait features “The Famous Hanna Triplets”. The girl’s names were Ida, Iva, and Eva. The sisters were involved in show business from the age of ten months. A 1967 interview with Iva during her retirement revealed her perspective on the triplet’s popularity. She stated “there weren’t too many triplets in those days who survived…so I guess you could call them freaks who weren’t freaks”. The girls worked for Ringling Brothers and the A. B. Marcus Musical Comedy Company. They performed as dancers. At age 20 they retired as they began to marry. Eva married a noted clown. “Bumpsy” Anthony (1900-1989) was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame. In 1956, at age 50, the triplets had a reunion dance performance. Triplets are quite rare and it is not surprising that these beautiful performing girls became well known. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that triplets are born in about one of one thousand births. Only about 10% of these births are identical triplets. In 2015 only four sets of identical triplets were born in the US. It appears that the Hanna girls were identical triplets. The photographer of this historic image is Frank Wendt (1859-1930). In 1893 Wendt became the successor to his mentor, Charles Eisenmann (1855-197). Eisenmann was a famous New York City photographer known for his images concerning “human oddities” and circus perfomers. A collection of his work can be seen at the web site of the “International Center of Photography”. Wendt continued Eisenmann’s work photographing “human oddities” but he also photographed many “normal” celebrities.Wendt moved the studio to New Jersey in 1898. Author Jim Linderman maintains that Wendt has been unfairly placed in the shadow of Eisenmann.


Published in: on March 3, 2017 at 11:09 am  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Excellent find. A rare item indeed. Do you think the card was a promo for the circus or the musical company they worked in?

    • I’m not sure who they were employed by when this photograph was taken. I was unable to find the dates they worked for the circus or the musical company. I would guess the girls are about seven years old when photographed by Wendt which means the photograph is from about 1907.

  2. Eva was married to my Uncle George Hulme, aka “Bumpsy Anthon”. He was my grandfather Billy Hulme’s oldest brother.

    • Bumpsy Anthony was my grandmother’s oldest brother.

  3. I am happy that you found your Uncle George’s photograph in the cabinet card gallery. If you would like to share any information about “Bumpsy’s” life or career, please feel free to leave further comment. Thanks for visiting and for your comment.

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