"The Two Headed Nightengale" by Project B
The Two Headed Nightengale, Carte de Visite, Circa 1885
Photographic reproduction of original piece
Size: 14.5 cm x 21 cm x 2 cm
Born into slavery in 1851, Millie and Christine McKoy were Siamese twins whose parents had no control over their destiny. They weren't even a year old when they were sold by their owner in North Carolina and then resold over and over again to promoters and agents who exploited the commercial potential of these unusual girls, who shared a pelvis but otherwise a full set of members. and organs. Surprisingly, one of their owners reunited them with their mother and (with an eye toward their careers as performers) provided them with foreign language education and instruction in music, ballet, and recitation.
The McKoy Twins, sometimes simply known as Millie-Chrissie, soon became one of the most famous entertainment "oddities" of the XNUMXth century. Nicknamed "The Two-Headed Nightingale" or "The Carolina Twins", they were invited to Buckingham Palace to perform for Queen Victoria and enjoyed financial success in the US.
Due to Millie's poor health, they withdrew to North Carolina and died in 1912.