Isaac W. Sprague, The Original Living Skeleton


Today is the birthday of the original “human skeleton”, Isaac W. Sprague (1841-1887). His weight loss began at age twelve, although he wasn’t to join a sideshow until age 24 in 1865. P.T. Barnum hired him the following year for his American Museum and the traveling show he mounted when the former institution burned down. At the time of his death while performing at a Boston museum at age 46 he weighed only 43 pounds. The cause of his muscular atrophy was never identified.

To find out about  the history of show businessconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


For more on silent and slapstick comedy please check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from etc etc etc


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: