Results 1 to 46 of 46

Thread: Violet and Daisy Hilton

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Southern Tier of New York
    Posts
    1,680

    Violet and Daisy Hilton

    Daisy Hilton and Violet Hilton (February 5, 1908 January 6, 1969) were a pair of conjoined twins who toured in the U.S. sideshow and vaudeville circuit in the 1930s. They were joined at the buttocks; sharing part of their spines, hip bones and circulatory systems.

    They were sold to a midwife by their mother shortly after their birth; their "adoptive" parents exploited them and kept every cent that they made off them. After the death of their "mother," they were willed to their "sister" and eventually escaped captivity. They were part of the circus sideshow circuit and eventually Vaudeville. Eventually interest dwindled and they worked in a grocery store.

    They died at home following influenza.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    1,619
    The sad thing is that born today through modern surgery they would have had a chance at seperate lives. Tragic they were exploited.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,524
    Pretty girls, sorry they were enslaved.

    Member since 10/10/07

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Sheffield, England
    Posts
    2,210
    Thats such a horrible story. How they were exploited like that. Their mother sold them???? WTF. The ''parents'' sound like twats.

  5. #5
    As adults they were featured in the movie "Freaks". They were both pretty girls. Apparently they were treated very badly by almost all of their "agents".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    9,141
    We have their autographs, and while I was researching them to find out the value of them, I found out what a hard time they had of it.

    Weren't they in "Freaks"?

    Also, it looks like they could have been easily separated if it was today.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    3,415
    Back then I think children with problems were easily exploted.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    canadia
    Posts
    4,601
    l love that a lawyer helped them escape during a music lesson (courtesy FAD)
    and the first thing they wanted to do was wear non-matching clothes!
    who could blame them?!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    4,353
    Does anybody remember the Dionne Quintuplets. Talk
    about exploited children. they had no childhood at all.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    3,415
    yes, I saw a doll set of them on e-bay.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    World of my own
    Posts
    1,975
    Their lives were not all exploitation by others. Once they gained their freedom, they were able to command large amounts of cash for their appearances, but they spent it all. The girls ended up as produce-weighers at a food store. When one died, the other didn't even call for help. Their lives weren't as cut and dried as one might think. They had good times and bad, like we all do. The girls were very different from each other. One liked to drink and the other didn't, I believe.

    An excellent book on their lives and personalities is The Lives and Loves of Daisy and Violet Hilton: A True Story of Conjoined Twins by Dean Jensen
    Last edited by Belle; 11-18-2007 at 04:54 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    7,844
    Did anyone see the film they were in? That was one weird thing. There is a dream sequence where one of them dreams she is not a twin. They did little camera tricks to portray this film.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    7,844
    No, that wasn't the film. I will go check on this-brb

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    World of my own
    Posts
    1,975
    Quote Originally Posted by hoxharding View Post
    No, that wasn't the film. I will go check on this-brb
    They financed one film on their own that was a huge flop.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    7,844
    "Chained for Life" That must be the one that didn't do well. One played a murderer.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    canadia
    Posts
    4,601
    Quote Originally Posted by BellePosting View Post
    Their lives were not all exploitation by others. Once they gained their freedom, they were able to command large amounts of cash for their appearances, but they spent it all. The girls ended up as produce-weighers at a food store. When one died, (I'm not sure it was the flu) the other didn't even call for help. Their lives weren't as cut and dried as one might think. They had good times and bad, like we all do. The girls were very different from each other.
    l'm sure they did have good times after they were freed from 'sir.'
    but as for calling for help when one died, how would an elderly person with the flu carry their 100+ pound twin to get help? plus, the second one prob died pretty quickly after the first one. or else wanted to.
    l'm glad they found a job they could do together.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    World of my own
    Posts
    1,975
    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
    how would an elderly person with the flu carry their 100+ pound twin to get help? plus, the second one prob died pretty quickly after the first one. or else wanted to. I'm glad they found a job they could do together.
    According to the book I read above, evidence in the home showed that the surviving twin had survived for quite a period of time (hours to days) with her dead sister. The telephone or another means to call for help was available but wasn't used. I think that the survivor did move around and was found in an area and position that led to speculation she succumbed while attempting perhaps to let their little doggie out.

    This sounds similar to the account I read:
    On January 6, 1969, after battling the Hong Kong flu for some weeks, the twins failed to report for work. Their boss called the police and the sisters were found dead in their small trailer. Daisy died first and forensic evidence suggested that Violet lived for two to four days afterwards, although this is highly questionable since the twins shared circulation and she would have bled to death much sooner.
    From here: lots of info & pics: http://phreeque.tripod.com/hilton_sisters.html
    Last edited by Belle; 11-18-2007 at 03:26 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    canadia
    Posts
    4,601
    Quote Originally Posted by BellePosting View Post
    This sounds similar to the account I read:
    On January 6, 1969, after battling the Hong Kong flu for some weeks, the twins failed to report for work. Their boss called the police and the sisters were found dead in their small trailer. Daisy died first and forensic evidence suggested that Violet lived for two to four days afterwards, although this is highly questionable since the twins shared circulation and she would have bled to death much sooner.
    From here: lots of info & pics: http://phreeque.tripod.com/hilton_sisters.html
    that's an interesting site! thanks!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    30,692
    They were beautiful:
    Victory will belong only to those who have faith in the people, those who are immersed in the life-giving spring of popular creativity.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    30,692
    Trying to find a pic of the mansion they lived in while in San Antonio but all I was able to get was the address. It was demolished years ago but the fence still remains supposedly. Here it is:
    http://maps.google.com/maps/mpl?f=q&...357.89,,0,6.27
    Victory will belong only to those who have faith in the people, those who are immersed in the life-giving spring of popular creativity.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,185
    The broadway musical "Sideshow" is based on these two ladies. It didn't do well over all, but has some lovely music.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Side_Show


  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    769
    I thought that Side Show was one of the best shows of its original season, considering that you don't see conjoined twins as the subject of many major musicals...

    Here's a performance of one of the show's songs by Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley at the Tony Awards...these two were so good together that they ended up putting out a couple of duet albums.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,185
    Quote Originally Posted by Nvr_Sk_to_Tll View Post
    I thought that Side Show was one of the best shows of its original season, considering that you don't see conjoined twins as the subject of many major musicals...

    Here's a performance of one of the show's songs by Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley at the Tony Awards...these two were so good together that they ended up putting out a couple of duet albums.
    I agree. The music is beautiful. It kills me sometimes the stuff that "makes it" and the stuff that doesn't due to modern audiences liking different things at the moment. These days can your music and make it sound like a Brittany Spears song (or better yet just USE a Brittany Spears song) and you have a hit on Broadway.

    On a sorta related note, Alice Ripley played Janet (BITCH) in the 2000 revivial of "The Rocky Horror Show" on Broadway. That is one ROCKIN' cast album. We used a lot of the arrangements when we did it two years later (I was Columbia).


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    133
    I found a British Medical Journal article about them, pretty interesting reading:

    http://www.bmj.com/content/2/2647/65...1-b42b9d1b1b02

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    4,706
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexandra View Post
    I found a British Medical Journal article about them, pretty interesting reading:

    http://www.bmj.com/content/2/2647/65...1-b42b9d1b1b02

    These details are fascinating...thank you Alexandra.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    18,938
    I am surprised that their mother survived giving birth to them considering they were born way before epidurals and other pain relief.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Hell-A / Hollyweird
    Posts
    503
    I really, really enjoyed Freaks. Chained for Life was dreadful though. They deserved better. The way their lives ended is tragic, but beautiful in the a macabre way. Conjoined twins come into the world together as one, if left joined, leave the world together as one. As I guess it should be.

    I love reading about conjoined twins. Violet and Daisy aren't my favorites though. I much prefer the Tocci twins from Italy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo...Battista_Tocci They made their fortune and then disappeared into seclusion. One was the stronger twin, one was the weaker. One was more outgoing, one was more shy. They fought like brothers and but were a reflection of each other.

    I've always thought it would be amazing to have a conjoined twin. A best friend that shares your life with you and knows you as well as they know themselves.


    Also, the most famous set of conjoined twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, is where the term "Siamese twins" came from. Also, one of Chang's great grand daughters is a politician in Florida and Eng's grandson was president of the Union Pacific Railroad in the 40s.


    I wish I'd lived during the sideshow days when so called, "freaks", were paraded out and exhibited. I think by displaying them, it leads to acceptance. Provided they aren't being exploited by a third person. Who is to say that these people are freaks? This is what nature made them. It makes them special, if not even more beautiful. Because of laws against human exhibitions, these people really have no route to make a steady income and often lead boring and sheltered lives.
    Last edited by Bbeelzebub; 06-28-2012 at 01:33 AM.
    I'm not a death hag... I'm a death fag!

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    4,353
    Quote Originally Posted by Bbeelzebub View Post
    I really, really enjoyed Freaks. Chained for Life was dreadful though. They deserved better. The way their lives ended is tragic, but beautiful in the a macabre way. Conjoined twins come into the world together as one, if left joined, leave the world together as one. As I guess it should be.

    I love reading about conjoined twins. Violet and Daisy aren't my favorites though. I much prefer the Tocci twins from Italy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo...Battista_Tocci They made their fortune and then disappeared into seclusion. One was the stronger twin, one was the weaker. One was more outgoing, one was more shy. They fought like brothers and but were a reflection of each other.

    I've always thought it would be amazing to have a conjoined twin. A best friend that shares your life with you and knows you as well as they know themselves.


    Also, the most famous set of conjoined twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, is where the term "Siamese twins" came from. Also, one of Chang's great grand daughters is a politician in Florida and Eng's grandson was president of the Union Pacific Railroad in the 40s.


    I wish I'd lived during the sideshow days when so called, "freaks", were paraded out and exhibited. I think by displaying them, it leads to acceptance. Provided they aren't being exploited by a third person. Who is to say that these people are freaks? This is what nature made them. It makes them special, if not even more beautiful. Because of laws against human exhibitions, these people really have no route to make a steady income and often lead boring and sheltered lives.
    Very well said, I so agree with you.

    Have read the book called: The Two: about the Original
    Siamese twins and how they tried to have a good full nice
    life.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

  29. #29
    I did quite a lot of research into circus "freak"shows a few years back (also did a talk about it - if anyone's interested, it's here as a podcast http://medianationalarchives.gov.uk/...-10-in-1-show/ )

    Interestingly, there were a few cases of conjoined twins where one died for whatever reason and they were offered the option of fetching a surgeon and attempting to separate them, and the pretty much universally declined the option.

    No conjoined twins on this - but here's a picture of Barnum's "Freaks and Curiosities" from 1901...

    2977765031_bd84587a32_o.jpg

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    2,642
    Quote Originally Posted by Bbeelzebub View Post
    I really, really enjoyed Freaks. Chained for Life was dreadful though. They deserved better. The way their lives ended is tragic, but beautiful in the a macabre way. Conjoined twins come into the world together as one, if left joined, leave the world together as one. As I guess it should be.

    I love reading about conjoined twins. Violet and Daisy aren't my favorites though. I much prefer the Tocci twins from Italy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo...Battista_Tocci They made their fortune and then disappeared into seclusion. One was the stronger twin, one was the weaker. One was more outgoing, one was more shy. They fought like brothers and but were a reflection of each other.

    I've always thought it would be amazing to have a conjoined twin. A best friend that shares your life with you and knows you as well as they know themselves.


    Also, the most famous set of conjoined twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, is where the term "Siamese twins" came from. Also, one of Chang's great grand daughters is a politician in Florida and Eng's grandson was president of the Union Pacific Railroad in the 40s.


    I wish I'd lived during the sideshow days when so called, "freaks", were paraded out and exhibited. I think by displaying them, it leads to acceptance. Provided they aren't being exploited by a third person. Who is to say that these people are freaks? This is what nature made them. It makes them special, if not even more beautiful. Because of laws against human exhibitions, these people really have no route to make a steady income and often lead boring and sheltered lives.
    I bought "Chained for Life" VHS about 20 years ago before I had moved out of L.A.. I had found it in a bargain bin for $3. Of course, I grabbed it. Yeah, it's pretty bad (but still liked it since it was bad). I agree, they deserved better.
    Cindy

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    2
    It is not true that The Hilton Twins died with no living relatives! Their Mother died due to complications in child birth after bringing my Mother into the world therefore my Mother was their sister, which makes me their Auntie and very much alive, living in the UK. If anyone alive today in the Monroe, Charlotte or the surrounding area in North Carolina have any information that could be useful to me please contact me by Private Message as I am planning a visit to Charlotte, NC shortly.
    Thank You.

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    canadia
    Posts
    4,601
    if your mother was their sister, it makes you their niece.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    4,353
    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
    if your mother was their sister, it makes you their niece.
    Wait
    have to thinik..
    Last edited by theotherlondon; 04-11-2014 at 07:37 PM.
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    4,353
    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
    if your mother was their sister, it makes you their niece.
    Sounds like a hard math problem
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    2
    Sorry typing error on my part, should have read 'makes them my Aunties'.

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Middle of the road
    Posts
    1,588
    New documentary about Violet and Daisy, called Bound by Flesh. Its out in limited release and should be available on Video on Demand.

    What a sad life they had.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alex-d...b_5535211.html
    Last edited by TheWrath of MadelineKahn; 07-07-2014 at 08:25 PM.
    Morgan

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    4,021
    Sideshow may come back to Broadway. www.theatermania.com
    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his pay-roll.

    Edna St. Vincent Millay

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    30,692
    Interesting article . Apparently they were sexuality active and were able to tune out the others activities.
    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/loc...ed-4742153.php

    This is the house they lived in while in San Antonio:
    hilton twins.jpg
    Last edited by ichabodius; 02-22-2015 at 07:59 PM.
    Victory will belong only to those who have faith in the people, those who are immersed in the life-giving spring of popular creativity.

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kuce Creek
    Posts
    34,832
    The link went to a Not Found page, but I love that house.
    Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them--Matthew 7:12

    There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.--Vincent Van Gogh


  40. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    30,692
    Link fixed.
    Victory will belong only to those who have faith in the people, those who are immersed in the life-giving spring of popular creativity.

  41. #41
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    30,692
    62 page interview with Jim Walker Moore about the Hilton sisters from 1978. Very informative:
    http://digital.utsa.edu/cdm/fullbrow.../rv/singleitem
    Victory will belong only to those who have faith in the people, those who are immersed in the life-giving spring of popular creativity.

  42. #42
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kuce Creek
    Posts
    34,832
    Thanks for sharing, Ich!
    Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them--Matthew 7:12

    There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.--Vincent Van Gogh


  43. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    San Diego CA
    Posts
    4,025
    Quote Originally Posted by Squiffy View Post
    It is not true that The Hilton Twins died with no living relatives! Their Mother died due to complications in child birth after bringing my Mother into the world therefore my Mother was their sister, which makes me their Auntie and very much alive, living in the UK. If anyone alive today in the Monroe, Charlotte or the surrounding area in North Carolina have any information that could be useful to me please contact me by Private Message as I am planning a visit to Charlotte, NC shortly.
    Thank You.
    Kate Skinner was the unwed mother of the twins, who were born in 1908. Contrary to what the Charlotte newspapers reported, Skinner lived to have two more children. She had a son in 1910 named Fredrick who her parents raised, and a daughter in 1912 named Ethel Kate.
    A month after Ethel Kate was born, Kate Skinner died at age 25 of complications from childbirth.
    Ethel Kate gave birth to Shelagh (pronounced “Sheila;” it’s Gaelic) Childs in 1945, making her niece to the twins. So was your mom born in 1912 and you must be Shelia Childs? born in 1945?


    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~
    And It Harm None Do What ye will. Wise Intelligent Teacher Courageous Healer.

  44. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Middle of the road
    Posts
    1,588
    Quote Originally Posted by pkstracy View Post
    Kate Skinner was the unwed mother of the twins, who were born in 1908. Contrary to what the Charlotte newspapers reported, Skinner lived to have two more children. She had a son in 1910 named Fredrick who her parents raised, and a daughter in 1912 named Ethel Kate.
    A month after Ethel Kate was born, Kate Skinner died at age 25 of complications from childbirth.
    Ethel Kate gave birth to Shelagh (pronounced “Sheila;” it’s Gaelic) Childs in 1945, making her niece to the twins. So was your mom born in 1912 and you must be Shelia Childs? born in 1945?


    Hope you get a reply, but Squiffy's post was from 2014, and there doesn't appear to have been another one.
    Morgan

  45. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    San Diego CA
    Posts
    4,025
    I doubt I'll get a reply, but this was the first time I have seen this thread.
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~
    And It Harm None Do What ye will. Wise Intelligent Teacher Courageous Healer.

  46. #46
    [nm] Link already posted.
    Last edited by Slick SKillet Mayhand; 02-20-2017 at 09:50 AM. Reason: Already posted.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •