For nearly two centuries, iron jaw performers have fascinated audiences of circus, vaudeville, and other performances worldwide. This aerial act requires strength, balance, and resilience from performers who use only their teeth to stay in the air. Though, for a time, iron jaw was common to most circus shows, its ability to entertain and captivate audiences has never waned.
In 2021, I published an article that examined the lives and careers of women iron jaw performers from the mid nineteenth to late twentieth centuries, including Leona Dare, Miss La La, Emma Jutau, Tiny Kline, Inez Palmer, The Tybell Sisters, the Curzon Sisters, and Becky Ostroff. The article celebrated the women of iron jaw, who matched fortitude with grace and innovation, and the prolific tradition of the art-form.
Read more about iron jaw (teeth work):
- “The Tenacious Women of Iron Jaw” Bandwagon: The Journal of the Circus Historical Society. Vol. 65. No. 3. (2021). (Print only until out of embargo; order a back issue or contact author)
- Iron Jaw, Wikipedia
- Tiny Kline Does Aerial Iron Jaw Act Over Broadway (1932 footage, YouTube)