Henrik Brustad, the Norwegian Giant
Today is the birthday of Henri Brustad (1844-1899). Born on the Island of Ytteroy, Norway, he was to grow to a height of seven and a half feet tall and travel with shows in his homeland before coming to the U.S. and touring with Barnum and Bailey. A later Norwegian giant, Johan Assen later claimed Brustad for his grandfather but it turns out to have been bunkum. Brustad died at age 45, presumably as a result of his acromegaly.
To find out about the history of vaudeville, consult 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 Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc