The tragic history of American Rapunzel: how the fate of the Sutherland sisters

At a time when there was no cinema, people were entertained in other ways. For example, went to the circus - to admire those who were born different from others: the Siamese twins or those born with excess limbs. The Sutherland sisters were perfectly healthy girls. And they stood out for their long hair like mermaids.


A source:

There were seven of them. Seven sisters, poor farmer's daughters: Sarah, Victoria, Isabella, Grace, Naomi, Mary and Dora. Biographer Brandon Stickney called them the sexiest female artists in the United States. But they conquered the public by not depraved dances - everyone came to admire their hair. The curls of the sisters reached the ankles and covered them like cloaks.

The sisters and their only brother were born between 1851 and 1865 in Cumbria.In an attempt to get the family out of poverty, the father decided to teach his daughters to sing, so that they could make money by performing.

So they joined the famous circus company Barnum and Bailey, where they were called "the seven most charming wonders of the world." Indeed, the sisters quickly began to gather crowds of spectators, but the audience was not interested in the singing talent of girls.

They were shocked by their hair. Sticky wrote:

“The sisters performed church music and ancient ballads, and their singing was popular. But most of all, people wanted to see their incredible curls. ”

Sisters magic potion

It was rumored that their mother, Mary, who died in 1867, that is, just a few years after the birth of her youngest daughter, was smearing their hair with a disgusting-smelling lapping. It was as if this magic potion had stimulated an incredible growth.

Of course, Mr. Sutherland could not miss this opportunity, and, as soon as the rumors got stronger, the magic tonic “Seven Sisters of Sutherland” appeared on the market. The pharmaceutical journal The Pharmaceutical Era analyzed the composition of this tonic and posted on its pages the results: 56% diluted extract of witch hazel, 44% laurel water, some salt, magnesia and hydrochloric acid. The label read:

"To our patrons: this recipe is made by us, and we recommend it as the best in the world."

A bottle of such an elixir cost from 50 cents to 1.5 dollars, which in the XIX century was equal to the daily or even weekly wages of the middle class. Thanks to good advertising, Sutherland sold 2.5 million bottles and earned $ 3 million.

Soon, Sutherland became so famous that their photos were published in the most famous magazines of the time: Cosmopolitan, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Time.

By 1888, when the father of the family died, the Sutherland sisters had built a luxurious mansion in their hometown. The house had 14 rooms, cold and hot water (exceptional luxury at the time!), Parquet flooring and chandeliers.

End of an era

Problems began around 1920. Fashion turned out to be merciless to the Sutherland family, and bob haircuts became the latest trend. The Sutherland Empire began to crack at the seams.

The sisters were too accustomed to live in a big way and failed to quickly change their rules. They continued to spend money mindlessly until the budget was completely exhausted.

There was hope to get married successfully. But due to the fact that the girls spent too much time on business, they did not learn to communicate with men. Only three of them got married.

In addition to all the troubles in 1938, their house burned down, and all the symbols of past glory disappeared under the rubble.

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