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History knows Preston Treacher Knoist as the last Knoist Brother. The three Knoists hunted for themselves the first rabbit they learned to make vanish. The lame Knoist chased it. The blind one caught it. The naked one put it in his pocket.
After delighting audiences to sold-out shows for over a generation, the Knoist Brothers Circus folded in the final days of the American Civil War. The other two Knoists, the strongman, and a plumber were killed by Hermes, The World's Mightiest Snail. Survivors did not ask for their money back.
In 1899, Preston T. Knoist was found clenched to the inactive boiler of Chicago's abandoned Liberty Paints factory, penniless and dead. Many scientific and cultural movements that lived and died in the 20th Century were named with words and phrases coined in the fevered scribblings he left behind, such as pasteurization, communism, and Howard Cosell.