At Over 800 Pounds Baby Ruth Pontico Wanted To Be The First Woman To Weigh Half A Ton
She Didn’t Make It
Baby Ruth Pontico Ringling Bros Circus Fat Lady 1941 photo AP
A Big Baby
Weighing 16 pounds at birth does not necessarily mean you will become the Fat Lady of the circus. But during a time in history when people enjoyed staring at human oddities, its better to be paid for having people gawk at you.
Ruth Smith was born on February 8, 1902 in Kempton, Indiana. At age one her weight was fifty pounds. By age ten she was 300 pounds. Continue reading →
The Mysteries of The Paramour, The Manuscripts & Her Family’s Strange Behavior
The Theories On Her Disappearance
Today we conclude the story of one of New York City’s greatest unsolved missing person cases. At the end of part one of the story, on December 12, 1910, Dorothy Arnold said goodbye to Gladys King, an acquaintance she had bumped into on Fifth Avenue. Gladys was the last person to see Dorothy Arnold alive.
From They Never Came Back by Allen Churchill (Crime Club, 1960) is part two of The Girl Who Never Came Back.
Return now to the Arnold home. Never had the well-brought-up Dorothy skipped a meal without warning the family ahead of time. Now when she failed to return for dinner an increasingly worried group ate without her, then began making discreet phone calls to Dorothy’s close friends asking if the girl had dropped in on them. Told she had not, the Arnolds begged that no mention ever be made of the phone call. Later they asked the same girls not to discuss the case with reporters, and it is indicative of the vast difference between society girls then and now that none of the girls ever did.Continue reading →
110 Years Ago Today, Wealthy Dorothy Arnold Went For A Walk In Midtown New York & Vanished Forever
Murder? Suicide? Kidnapping? Or Run Away & Start A New Life?
The Strange Disappearance of A Young Woman Who Seemingly Had Everything….Including A Secret Life
In the annals of missing person cases few are as baffling as Dorothy Arnold.
Time has erased the Dorothy Arnold case from the public’s memory. But for decades, Dorothy Arnold’s disappearance ranked among the most speculated of mysteries in New York’s history.
Dorothy Arnold disappeared on December 12, 1910 after leaving her house to go for a walk and do some shopping in midtown Manhattan. To make finding her whereabouts more complicated a report that she was missing was not filed with police until weeks after her disappearance. Continue reading →
The Story of A 19th Century Oddity – Millie Christine
While recently highlighting one of the silliest movies ever made, The Thing With Two Heads, we came across stories of other human anomalies.
Co-joined twins Millie and Christine (or Christina) McKoy were famous in the 19th century, sometimes billed as “The Wonderful Two Headed Girl,” “The Two-Headed Nightingale,” or “The Eighth Wonder of the World.”
The truth about this “two headed girl” was quite different than what was advertised. Continue reading →
Sir John Barrow Memorial Hoad Hill Ulverston Cumbria, UK
The “lighthouse” is in the town of Ulverston, a bucolic seaside town which hosts various festivals throughout the year. There’s an annual Dickens Festival each November in which many of the citizens dress in Victorian attire. Then there’s “Another Fine Fest” held in June. The title is a takeoff on the admonishing words “Well… that’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into!” Oliver Hardy says these words in countless films to his comedic partner Stan Laurel. Ulverston’s modern claim to fame is as the birthplace of comedian Stan Laurel, who lived here until he was six-years-old.
Levity aside, viewed from afar, the 100 tower off the northern English coast of Cumbria sure looks like a lighthouse. Continue reading →
80 Years After The Civil War Ended, Confederate Ammunition Killed Two Soldiers
7 Strange Facts Concerning The Civil War
Tens of thousands of books have been written about the American Civil War. The book that I recently read was not a penetrating analysis of a battle or biography of a soldier. Rather it was a book containing some unusual stories about the Civil War. Well written and researched, I think a small portion of the book is worth sharing here.
In no particular order here are 7 quick stories from the book The Civil War Strange & Fascinating Facts by Burke Davis, Fairfax Press (1982) (previously published as Our Incredible Civil War, 1960): Continue reading →