gulliver’s unravels

Robert Wadlow. The tallest man in the United States.

…By his twentieth birthday, when he was 8 feet 6 3/4 inches tall, Wadlow’s step had slowed to an elephantine shuffle. He was infuriated now by those self-styled comedians who several times each day asked him, “Hey, big boy, how’s the weather up there?” And getting from place to place became an increasing problem. Before, he had done most of the long-distance traveling by train, but he could finally fit into neither Pullman berths nor drawing rooms, and so he took to the airlines.

—As a youth Robert’s interests were typical of most boy’s of his age. He enjoyed photography, reading, collecting stamps, and listening to the radio. In school he maintained good grades, got along with others, and played with other children. Robert Wadlow, joined the Freemason youth club and became a member of Alton Chapter, Order of DeMolay at fifteen, the minimum age one could join.
—Read More:

At Newark Airport, however, on his way home from an appearance on Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” radio program, he accidentally put an elbow through the window of a TWA plane, and as a result, the passengers had to switch to another plane. Wadlow was so upset by this that he began to avoid flying; instead, he made even his longest journeys crouched on the seatless back floor of a seven-passenger limousine driven by his father. Earlier, when he had arrived at an airport or train station, he had to get to his hotel either by straddling the roof of a taxicab or riding in the back of a truck.

Everywhere Wadlow went, a Gulliver among the Lilliputans, everything was ludicrously small for him- cars, elevators, bathtubs, shower stalls, toilets, and just about anything else one can think of. Unless it had been made especially for him, he could not sit in a chair without breaking it, and in hotels he had to put two double beds side by side to sleep. Sometimes the beds gave way beneath his weight, and he ended up sleeping on the floor. ( to be continued)…

—Robert Pershing Wadlow was 8’11″ when he died at the age of 22, and he grew continuously throughout his life – had he lived a little longer, it’s possible he would have hit nine feet and kept on growing. Indeed, while his death was certainly related to his height – one of his leg brace irritated his ankle, which led to an infected blister – it wasn’t strictly speaking the direct cause of his death. There’s no medical reason to think that 8’11″ represents an upper limit on human height.
Still, while nine feet does appear just within the realm of possibility, anything much more than that is probably impossible. It all goes back to something called the square-cube law. First demonstrated by Galileo, the law simply states that if an object increases in size, its surface area will increase by the square of the multiplier, whereas its volume will increase by the cube of the multiplier. That means that if you took a six foot tall, 200 pound man and doubled his height to 12 feet tall, his mass would have to increase eightfold to 1600 pounds, which is way more than human bones could support.
In his classic 1928 essay “On Being the Right Size”, evolutionary biologist and geneticist J.B.S. Haldane …Read More: image:


(see link at end)…The second tallest human on record was another American yet one who lived a very different life from Robert Wadlow. John Rogan, a slave’s son, was an African-American born in Tennessee only a few years after the end of the civil war. Crippled for his most of his life due to ankylosis caused by his rapid growth, he was unemployed and lived an impoverished life. He was eight feet, nine inches tall but weighed only 79 kg.

The Potsdam Giants were a Prussian infantry regiment founded in 1675 and composed of men of well above average height. Obtaining tall men for the division became something of an obsession for King Frederick I. Many of his ‘recruits’ were actually abducted from various parts of Europe. In an early attempt at eugenics, Frederick paired his soldiers with abnormally tall women in the hope that any resulting children would be even taller. He never risked the regiment in battle.

Perhaps the most remarkable giant of all was the Austrian Adam Rainer. At a height of seven feet, eight inches, he doesn’t rank near the top of the list – there are at least thirty people ahead of him. However, he is the only giant who was also a dwarf. At the age of eighteen he was four feet, six inches tall, easily under the four feet, ten inches which is the defining characteristic of dwarfism. Over the next fourteen years he grew a further 38 inches but, as a result, his health deteriorated and he spent most of his adult life bedridden.Read More:

="src" value="" />

Related Posts

This entry was posted in Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion, Marketing/Advertising/Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>