Said to be joined at
the spine in the same manner as the Blazek twins who died recently
in Chicago, Violet and Daisy Hilton, 16-year-old twins recently
attracting interest in San Antonio, Texas, differ widely in
mentality, although strikingly similar in appearance and musical
talent - From Gould & Pyle - Anomalies and Curiosities of
Medicine" Chang and Eng above are the original Siamese twins, made
famous by P. T. Barnum
Children, Exactly Alike in Mind as Well as Body, Revealed by
Amazing Scientific Studies
twin hunt, following the recent dramatic death in Chicago of the
famous Blazek sisters-"Siamese twins," joined together for
birth-has brought to light the fact that there are now living in
this country two attractive young girls, Violet and Daisy Hilton,
who are also said to be fastened together at the spine in fashion
similar to the joining of Rosa and Josefa Blazek.
Meanwhile science, investigating the always intensely interesting
subject of twins, has made some astonishing discoveries, which
will attract popular attention all the more strongly because of
legal and medical debate following the passing away of Rosa and
Josefa Blazek, after their forty years of fame on the stage and in
Two Persons or One?
The question raised at their death, as to whether these remarkable
sisters really constituted one or two distinct persons, involved
the inheritance of an estimated fortune of some $200,000. If held
by law to be inseparably one individual-as they were, in effect,
held to be by the decision that prevented the doctors' effort to
separate them and save the life of one-then the young son of Rosa
would inherit the entire estate.
If, on the other hand, they were legally two individuals, the
estate would be divided equally between Rosa's son and Josefa's
Now, the amazing fact has been unearthed by scientific
investigation that while Siamese twins, such as the Blazek
sisters, may be utterly unlike in all respects, although closely
shackled by bonds of flesh for life, certain ordinary twins may be
so nearly identical-not only in appearance, but in mind and
spirit-as to seem almost the same personality.
Dr. Arnold Gesell, director of the Yale Psycho Clinic, New Haven,
Conn., has lately made a study of un-joined twin sisters who are
in every respect normal children of above the average talent, yet
who resemble each other amazingly, not only in looks, but in
mental and spiritual traits as well.
That among the twins known to every reader, some may be of this
technically called "duplicate: type, and others of the "fraternal"
type-quite unlike although born together-is one of the conclusions
of these recent scientific studies. "Siamese twins might
conceivably be of either type.
The original Siamese twins themselves, Chang and Eng, made famous
by P. T. Barnum and exhibited for years in all parts of the world,
bore no marked similarity in features, yet were strikingly similar
in tastes. The mutual adjustment of their movements was amazing.
With bodies joined, the twins could tumble head over heels without
the slightest inconvenience.
These twins were discovered in Siam and rescued from a tragic fate
by a British merchant in 1824, when they were about 13 years old.
Fearing that the strange brothers were evil spirits and might
bring harm to his country, the superstitious King of Siam was
planning to put them to death when the merchant prevailed upon him
to allow the boys to be taken away for exhibition.
Records of at least six other physically shackled twins-both the
merchant prevailed upon him to allow the boys to be taken away for
Records of at least six other physically shackled twins-both boys
and girls-have come down through history.
Some biologists believe that fraternal twins, who may or may not
be of the same sex, but show ordinary fraternal resemblance, are
presumably derived from two separate ova. Identical twins, on the
other hand, who are always of the same sex, are supposed to
originate by division from one and the same fertilized ovum, while
conjoined twins may have developed from separate ova that have
grown together during the prenatal period.
The remarkable likeness of the ten-year-old duplicate twin girls
recently described by Dr. Arnold Gesell in The Scientific Monthly
many be judged from the sectional views of the lower parts of
their faces shown at the bottom of this page. Even a slight defect
in the development of the upper right incisor of one is duplicated
in her twin sister, while each has a small pigmented mole near the
left corner of her mouth.
Dr. Gesell's admirably thorough study of them showed that their
physical development at the age of nine years, their height,
weight, head dimensions, pulse, blood pressure, muscular strength
and degree of ossification of the bones of the hands were almost
identical. Particularly astonishing in this list of similarities,
was the coincidence of the patterns of the palms of their hands
and the soles of their feet.
Most interesting of all is the mental similarity of the twins,
discovered by Dr Gesell's novel scheme of giving the twins a
series of 25 educational tests. In many instances both girls made
the same mistakes and showed the same tendencies of alertness,
attention, deliberation, sense of humor, and emotional reactions.
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