Laverie Vallee (July 18, 1875 – February 6, 1949), best known by her stage name Charmion, was a Sacramento born trapeze artist who possessed strength and a physique most men would be envious of. However, she was most well known for her risqué striptease performances.
The act opened with Charmion taking the stage in full Victorian attire. She would then mount the trapeze and proceed to undress to her leotard while performing impressive and strength-dependant stunts. The act was incredibly impressive and provocative for the era. However, the controversy created by her performances did not prevent the formulation of a devoted, and mostly male, fan base.
One of her greatest fans was Thomas Edison. As a result of that adoration, on November 11, 1901 Charmion committed a simplified version of her act to film for Edison. The film, simply entitled ‘Trapeze Disrobing Act’ focused more on the erotic aspect of the performance, though a few remarkable feats of strength are featured.
Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522 — 1605) was an Italian naturalist and physician, also known as Ulysses Aldrovandi, or simply as Aldrovandus. He helped lead the Renaissance movement that placed a renewed emphasis on the study of nature.
One of the many books he wrote was Monstrorum Historia (“A History of Monsters”), a compendium of reported human and animal monstrosities. The book included accounts not only of monstrous natural births but also of entirely imaginary, extremely far-fetched monsters. This sort of juxtaposition was common at the time, since there was not as yet a distinction between the literary and the scientific.