Robert Wadlow, was known as the Alton Giant, or the Giant of Illinois, and Bob, was an American who became famous as the tallest person in recorded history for which there is irrefutable evidence. He was born and raised in Alton, Illinois.
Wadlow reached 8' 11.1" in height and was 439 lbs when he died, at the age of only 22. His growth continued into adulthood and showed no signs of stopping. His height was due to, hyperplasia; of his pituitary gland, which results in an abnormally high level of human growth hormone.
Not only was he the world's largest boy scout, but he still holds the Guinness Book World record for being the tallest man. He was taller than his father by the age of 8, and in elementary school, they had to make a special desk for him due to his size. As an adult, he was a member of the Freemasons and his Freemason ring was the largest ever made.
Wadlow became a celebrity after his 1936 U.S. tour with the Ringling Brothers Circus. He appeared with Ringling Brothers at Madison Square Garden and the Boston Garden in the center ring, never in the sideshow. In 1938, he did a promotional tour with the International Shoe Company. They provided him his shoes free of charge. Wadlow figured that he was working in advertising, not being exhibited as a freak.
Wadlow's massive size began to take a toll: he required leg braces to walk and had little feeling in his legs and feet. Despite these difficulties, he never used a wheelchair. He possessed great physical strength but was known as a “gentle giant” until the last year of his life, when his strength and his health, in general, began to deteriorate rapidly. In July of 1940, during a professional appearance at a Forest Festival, a faulty brace irritated his ankle, causing a blister and subsequent infection. his condition worsened due to an autoimmune disorder, and 11 days after contracting the infection, he died.
His coffin measured 10' 9" long by 2' 8" wide by 2' 6" deep, weighed 1000 lbs and was carried by 12 pallbearers and eight assistants. Setting on final record, for the world's largest coffin His body was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Upper Alton.
Retired from the rails, many old trains find themselves in derelict graveyards, filled with car upon rusted car. Photos of these scrapyards let us witness the magnificent decay of these massive machines.
Nature versus civilization is a time-honored battle, and there are some beautiful, abandoned places in the world where it is clear nature has won: worn, rusted places returning to the earth.
I drew a lot of inspiration from a visit to the "Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum". This is a must-see attraction if you find yourself nearby.
This video is a modern look at the Gettysburg Address. We draw a lot of parallels from the 1860s and today, It's easy to get caught up in divisions and partisan politics. But, it hard to forget Abe Lincoln's words and how we should draw inspiration from them today:
The Gettysburg Address
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
~ Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863
Photos from "The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library":
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This is a collection of media from lost and abandoned corners of the world.