Americans Fat . . . But Not THAT Fat
Adam Ozimek, Alex Tabarrok, Andrew Sullivan, Miss Cellania, and others post this picture of “Human Freight Car” Chauncey Morlan (1869-1906), one of the freak show fatties who traveled with the Barnum & Bailey Circus:
Alex wonders, “What would the circus goers of 1890 have thought if they were told that in the America of 2010 Chauncy Morlan would be unremarkable?”
Cellania quips, “People paid money to look at him, because he was so unusually obese. A hundred years later, you can walk into any buffet restaurant and see a dozen people bigger than Morlan.”
Admittedly, Morlan doesn’t look fat enough in that picture that I’d pay to see him. But, in actuality, Morlan was 512 pounds at age 18 and was reputedly well over 600 pounds later in life. That’s hardly “unremarkable” even now.
Just got back from Disney World. That guy was every other person in line (often holding a turkey leg).
Here in southern California, I’ve only recently noticed an integration of the authentically obese in to customer-service roles. I take that as a sign of both increased acceptance and increased representation in the applicant pool.
(With different genes I might be there too … though I’ve also long distrusted the corn sweeteners.)
I object to your using photos of me without permission.
He must be either five years old or 7 feet tall in that picture if he was 500+ pounds. He almost looks svelte compared to some people I’ve seen.
From the comments section over at MR:
The back of the photo read “Chauncey Morlan, Age 25, Wt 602, Wife age 22, Wt 526”. A quick “google” search revealed that they were a circus side show attraction of some type. The photographer turned out to be famous circus / sideshow / freak photographer Wendt of Boonton NJ. He was famous for his rare images of midgets, giants, fatmen, sword swallowers, jugglers and bearded ladies!
From the link:
So, even if there was some exaggeration, they were substantially bigger than the denizens of the average Pizza Hut buffet line.
When/if the Republicans and Wall Street return America to the unregulated capitalism of Morlan’s day, the number of people who can afford enough quality food to eat to reach Morlan’s size will once again become rare.
Need to know his height, but he looks in the 400s. At any given time we have at least one 600 pounder in our ICU. He doesnt look that big.
Now that Obama has socialized medical care in this country, the taxpayers are going to have to be on the hook for paying the medical costs of these types of people.
With the Obama la liberalista in charge the days of personal responsibility are behind us.
There is even a movement now for “fat rights.” Some fat-cat Hollywood director just got all snippy because his fat rolls were burdening the other passengers.
Typical selfish liberalism.