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May 16, 1936

A TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD ERROR IN MEASURING A GIANT

Author Affiliations

BARNARD, MO.

JAMA. 1936;106(20):1713-1715. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770200019007
Abstract

The case of modern giantism which is most frequently cited is that of John Turner, aged 36, the former driver of a brick-wagon, who is item 32 (surgical No. 25947) in Dr. Harvey Cushing's monograph.1 Numerous essayists have pointed to this record as that of an outstanding specimen among the "tall boys," so he has become a rather permanent fixture in the literature on giants. Original references to Turner's case can be found nowhere else in print, however, although his personal history here states that "of late... he has been an inmate in various hospitals." Dr. Cushing records that this giant's height, measured after death, was 8 feet 3 inches (251.5 cm.). I am convinced that this measurement was in error by at least 1 foot, perhaps more, for the reasons which follow.

Cushing's text presents two good full length photographs of the nude and barefooted giant, as figure

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