In the 18th century, a Yorkshire man caught the curiosity of his fellow Englishmen. They weren’t intrigued by his ideas, beliefs or opinions, but by his nose: Thomas Wadhouse owned one at 27cm and it was the largest recorded up to that time. .
Wadhouse became something of a celebrity of his time thanks to his extremely large nose. It has been exhibited all over the country and has even been featured Anomalies and curiosities of medicinea 19th-century book on rare and bizarre diseases.
Today he holds the Guinness World Record for having the longest nose.and a wax replica of his head hangs in the London Museum Ripley’s Believe It or Not. However, who was the man behind that nose? To this day, the history and identity of Thomas Wadhouse are difficult to unravel.
Who was Thomas Wadhouse, the big-nosed man of the world?
Very little is known about Thomas Wadhouse’s early life. He was born about 1730 in Yorkshire, England, and at the site History of yesterday Yoinforms that his parents may have been siblings. Perhaps it was this wrong genetic mix that gave rise to the prodigious nose. by Wadhouse, but the true cause is unknown.
Born a century before so-called ‘freak shows’ really caught on, Wadhouse seems to have flaunted himself – and his nose – all over England.
The Wadhouse entry in the book Anomalies and curiosities of medicine he briefly explains: “At the beginning of the last century Thomas Wedders (or Wadhouse) with a nose 27cm long was on display all over Yorkshire.”
Other circus and variety performers had sharp chins beneath their infamous faces. For example, Lionel the lion-faced man (real name: Stephan Bibrowski), for example, spoke five languages and dreamed of being a dentist. But Wadhouse had a very different reputation.
The biggest man behind the nose in the world
The few extant writings on Thomas Wadhouse all suggest the same thing: unlike Bibrowski, Wadhouse was not a great thinker.
“Wadhouse died while he lived, in a state of mind best described as the most abject idiocy”Explain Anomalies and curiosities of medicine.
The Strand magazineVol XI also wrote of Thomas Wadhouse and his famous nose in 1896, noting that if ‘the nose were ever uniformly accurate in representing the importance of the individual’ then Wadhouse would ‘make all the money in Threadneedle Street and conquer all Europe”.
But Thomas Wadhouse’s big nose wasn’t indicative of great ability, the magazine described. “Either his chin was too weak or his forehead too low, or… Nature was so exhausted in giving this prodigy a nose that she had completely forgotten to give him a brain.OR; or perhaps, the nose has moved the latter well”.
However, it is not clear what prompted Thomas Wadhouse to go to the exhibition. Maybe you felt like you couldn’t turn down the opportunity. Or perhaps others led him through that life, given Wadhouse’s reputation for low intelligence.
Thomas Wadhouse died at the age of 50, in 1780. His latest job was to show his nose in front of the public in the legendary circus of the Whorshire brothers. There are virtually no records of his life, nor written records of how he felt about his face or the exhibitions he attended.
Unlike the fairground artists of later timesthere are only a few drawings of Wadhouse’s face although wax replicas of his face have been exhibited Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.