Susan Barton, the Mammoth Lady
One of P.T. Barnum’s “prodigies” she was said to weight 579 pounds, which is prodigious indeed. She was appearing at Barnum’s American Museum in 1849 when Currier and Ives did this portrait. Her waistline was said to be seven feet, three inches.
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.