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Emilie Dionne

AKA Emilie Marie Jeanne Dionne

Born: 28-May-1934
Birthplace: Corbeil, Ontario, Canada
Died: 6-Aug-1954
Location of death: Sainte Agathe, Quebec, Canada
Cause of death: Epileptic Seizure
Remains: Buried, Sacred Heart Cemetery, Corbeil, Ontario, Canada

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Victim

Nationality: Canada
Executive summary: Canadian quintuplets put on display

During the Great Depression, a set of identical quintuplet girls was born to Oliva and Elzire Dionne on May 28, 1934. The girls were named Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie, and Yvonne. Physician Allan Roy Dafoe delivered them, with the help of two midwives. Because quintuplets were so unusual at the time, the girls and their doctor became instant celebrities. Soon after their birth, the Canadian government took custody of the babies, to "protect" them from exploitation.

They were then housed in a nursery under the care of Dr. Dafoe, who became obessed with raising them in a germ-free environment. The nursery, known as Quintland, soon became surrounded by tourist facilities. For a fee, tourists could visit the quints' birthplace, and on occasion a few selected tourists would be allowed to watch the quints play, from behind a fence or a one-way mirror.

Dr. Dafoe began a vigorous career in advertising, using the Dionne Quints to advertise products he claimed he used on the children, including Colgate, Palmolive, and Lysol.

In 1943 the Dionne finally won back custody of their daughters, who came to live with them as total strangers. The quints went on to write books, and were featured in a number of films. In 1998, the surviving quints were paid a $4 million settlement by the Canadian government, for being separated from their parents for the first nine years of their lives.

There is now a Dionne Quints museum in North Bay, Ontario, Canada. Many companies produced Dionne Quints sets of dolls in the 1930's and 1940's, including the Madame Alexander Doll Company and Effanbee. Large amounts of other Quints memorabilia were produced and sought after by collectors.

Father: Oliva Dionne
Mother: Elzira Legros
Sister: Annette Dionne
Sister: Cecile Dionne
Sister: Marie Dionne
Sister: Yvonne Dionne

    Risk Factors: Epilepsy

    The Country Doctor (12-Mar-1936)

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