Liou Seng-Sen and Liou Tang-Sen
Liou Seng-Sen and Liou Tang-Sen were conjoined twins born in China and sideshow performers.
Liou Seng-Sen and Liou Tang-Sen were of the xiphopagus type. The brothers were joined only by a narrow band of flesh at the chest, similar to Chang and Eng (photographs of these twins are often mistaken for Chang and Eng).
Tang-Sen, the twin on their left, was stronger and was right handed. Seng-Sen (right) was more susceptible to pain and was left handed. They were also reportedly very intelligent, being fluent in English. When walking, Seng-Sen usually pulled ahead of his brother. The connection between them was so flexible that they could stand either side-by-side or facing each other and were able to walk, run and play games with ease. When one twin was given alcohol, the other felt the effects. They fell asleep at the same time, but one could be awoken without disturbing the other.
Liou Seng-Sen and Liou Tang-Sen were born in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, around 1886. When they were born, their frightened mother made a crude attempt to separate them by ligating their connecting band, but their circulation was disrupted and she quickly removed the ligature, never again attempting to divide them. She died when they were two years old, leaving them in the care of their father. Their exhibition career began at an early age in their native China. At age six they were shown at a fair in Hangzhou and were later taken to Shanghai. From there, they were taken to Korea, Japan, India, Australia and then spent three years touring Europe.
While touring Europe in 1901, the twins were allegedly seized by surgeons in Vienna who wanted to attempt to separate the twins. A Dr. Chapot-Prevost, who was credited with severing the similarly-joined twins Maria and Rosalina some years before, believed the operation could be performed without killing the twins. However, the boys' father intervened at the last second, asserting that such an operation would destroy the brothers' livelihood. Eventually, the Lious and their father came to the United States around 1902 to pursue a career with the Barnum Circus. Because immigration laws in the United States forbid Chinese immigrants from entering the country, Seng-Sen and Tang-Sen are called The Korean Twins.
Around 1905, the twins retired to Nanjing at the age of nineteen and disappeared from the public eye, at least in the West. They married separate wives and collectively had two sons and a daughter. However, money run out and the Liou brothers were forced once again to enter showbusiness, at the advanced age of 63. In 1957, surgeons at China Union Medical College in Peiping (modern Beijing) report separating 71-year-old male conjoined twins - most certainly the Liou brothers - because one is ill with bronchitis. The sick brother dies, but the healthy one remarkably survives. At 71, the Liou brothers were the oldest conjoined twins ever recorded.