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.