• Image of 'Koo-Koo the Bird Girl'
  • Image of 'Koo-Koo the Bird Girl'

Alfred J. Bird (1811 – 1878), born in Nympsfield, Gloucestershire, was a qualified chemist and food manufacturer, inventing the first modern baking powder in 1843, whilst trying to create a yeast-free bread for his wife. Alfred's wife; Elizabeth, was reported to have had allergies to both eggs and yeast, which also led to the invention of the egg-free Bird’s Custard Powder in 1837.

Elizabeth Green, born in Springfield, Massachusetts, was a Jewish American sideshow performer, who toured with Ringling Brothers Circus. She was presented to audiences as 'Koo-Koo the Bird Girl' during the early 1900s. Elizabeth is reported to have had a genetic condition which was responsible for her unusual thin bone structure. Encouraged to dance around in a 'feathered body suit with large bird feet and a long feather on her head', Elizabeth was most famous for her appearance in Browning's 1932 film 'Freaks' as 'The stork-woman'.

'Koo Koo'; derived from the male cuckoo bird's mating cry and a derogatory term for a crazy person.

Source References:

Dimensions: H 49cm W 17cm D 16cm

Mixed Media:
Vintage Composition Doll,
Vintage 'Birds Baking Powder' Tin,
Vintage Posser,
Vintage Dariole Tins,
Vintage Bun Tin,
Vintage Savarin Tin,
Pair of taxidermy Lovebird wings,
Threaded Bar,
Various Nuts, Bolts, and Washers.

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