Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

Turn of the 20th Century Transformist

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | April 07, 2010 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: crossdressing history, Emile Grandsart, trans history, transgender performer

I've found some fascinating vintage trans images from the 1890s - 1920s, including this gem. A bit of googling yielded the info that a postcard of Grandsart is in the Andrew M. Schwartz Collection on Cross-Dressing of the One Archives


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I have no idea which way this person is presenting. Very androgynous.

Especially since he's using a male name.

Go to this page and it is all explained. My French is a bit rusty but surely others can step in and enlighten us.

towards the bottom of the page you will find

"César Cascabel, transformiste d'Amiens se produisait dans des cirques à la fin du 19e siècle et changeait de tenue en un clin d'œil. Il sera immortalisé dans un roman de Jules Vernes. Mais c'est un italien, nommé Leopoldo Fregoli, qui va donner ses lettres de noblesse à cet art. Lui aussi fait ses premiers numéros à l'armée pour distraire les soldats italiens du corps expéditionnaire d'Abyssinie. A son retour, il en fait sa profession et entame une carrière internationale. Son numéro présente 60 personnages différents qu'il incarne en se transformant en quelques secondes, changeant de postiche et de costume."