When Violet and Daisy Hilton, pretty little nineteen-year-old twins, left New York to begin their tour of the world, they were not sure whether they were one girl or two girls.
To be sure, they bought a single railroad ticket and the conductor accepted it without a word of protest.
They had a lot of trouble securing an insurance policy, being finally insured in the Lloyds of London, and by the terms of the policy they were two persons, for Violet and Daisy are welded together by the strangest tie that ever bound two mortals in irrevocable oneness. They call themselves the "San Antonio Siamese Twins."
Both are charming, lovely and intelligent girls, but at the extreme portion of their backs their spinal cords are interwoven so closely as to form a single backbone. This means that the same blood flows through both of their bodies. But would this make one person, or would two sets of organs, limbs and features make them individuals?
Violet and Daisy decided to settle the matter once for all.
Accordingly they visited the Richmond Police Department, where they were taken to the Bureau of Identification in charge of Sergt. Wm. A. Toler and explained their problem to him.
"We want to know whether we are a person—or persons," they said.
"That's easy," replied Sergt. Toler, making ready his finger print apparatus. "No two persons in the world have the same finger prints. If you are one girl your prints will be copies of each other; if you are two girls they will show a difference."
After impressions had been taken of their fingers and compared, Sergt. Toler announced that there was no similarity between the two prints. There was a marked difference in the index finger of both girls. The index finger on both Daisy and Violet shows the difference more pronouncedly than the other fingers. The thumbs show a slight difference, and upon close examination the other fingers reveal a difference.
"And yet," declared the twins, when they talked it over later, "the railroads don't agree with science, for when we travel we buy one railroad ticket and one Pullman reservation. And although we sometimes have to stand up in front of our seats to show the conductor that we really are fastened together, we are never asked for another ticket, and we have but one ticket for theatres.
"And even Lloyds only partially decided that we are two persons. You see we wanted to take out life insurance. They said we would have to take out two policies, one for Daisy and the other for Violet. Then if one of us died or if both died only one premium could be collected. And even then the rate was so high that we just couldn't be insured."
Daisy and Violet were born in England. Since their father died, they have grown up under the watchful attention of their uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Myer Myers, who have brought them up into fine physical specimens of young womanhood, wholesome, attractive and talented.
Under the instruction of tutors they have mastered five languages. They are expert seamstresses and clever at embroidering and fancy work. Violet plays the saxophone like a professional, while Daisy is becoming a skilled violinist. Their ambition is to have musical careers and to achieve this end, they practice five hours daily.
They do not want to be separated and they never experience loneliness. If one wants to turn over in bed she is obliged to waken her sister and they must get up and rearrange themselves. They do not feel the aches and pains of the other.
They prefer different types of young men and are very fond of their company.
1. "San Antonio Siamese Twins Have Unlike Finger Prints", Finger Print and Identification Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 11, May 1927, pages 16-17.