Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #44 Mianko Karoo

Before I began looking into each of the identified persons in this collection I thought it was a mishmash of photographs. This was mostly due to some of the more unusual photos in the stash.

KarrooUNK Rooney collectionOn the back of this photographs, very lightly written in pencil, is the name of the tall man  on the right. Karroo, age 19 years, height 8 ft. 3 1/4 in., weight 337 1/2 lbs.

On the Giant website I learned Mianko Karoo toured with The Barnum & Baileys greatest show on earth and was also known as the Congo Giant. Stories vary as to his heritage. He was a native American captured and exhibited after he was civilized or he may have been an African-American or even German. There are several photos on the site, a few the same or similar to this one. At least one has the same information on the back as this one.

There was another photograph of a young lady named Isabelle Wilson, age 19 years, weight 638 lbs., height 5 ft. 1 1/2 in. The photographer was E. E. Mangold Photo of South Bend, Indiana.

Although freak shows were family entertainment and socially acceptable in the 19th century I do not believe sharing Isabelle’s photo is necessary.

This collection has become a patchwork of several families and not a jumble of unrelated photos as it appeared at first glance.  Even these two oddities tell of what interested the person who saved them.

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

As a military brat I've lived in Georgia, France, Idaho, West Virginia, Spain, South Carolina, Texas, and Luxembourg. Married 36 years with two grown children. When I’m not doing genealogy, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful countryside in Luxembourg and surrounding countries.

8 thoughts on “Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #44 Mianko Karoo”

  1. In many ways the traveling circus was like an encyclopedia. Exotic animals from far away places gave people some insight into countries they would never see or know about otherwise. I suppose that same curiosity extended to unusual people whether they were unusually tall or short, fat or thin, conjoined or without limbs. Souvenir postcards served the same purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting. Some of the seemingly random photos in collections I have inherited always turn out to be connected in some way. A photo of a bunch of stills recovered by the police in the 1920s was kept because my great-grandpa was a moonshiner and had to get busted occasionally.

    Liked by 1 person

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