Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Australian Fat Boy

The Australian Fat Boy

 In 1861 the rear ballroom of the North Kapunda Hotel became the show room of a curiosity which in that era, was a novelty, but by today’s standards is nothing out of the ordinary.

A young man named William Abernethy was “on display” in Kapunda, touring Australia, after a successful tour of the United Kingdom, promoted by his Father James Abernethy.

The North Kapunda Hotel

 Young Master Abernethy was billed overseas as “The Australian Marvel” or sometimes as “The Giant Youth” but more often, in an environment that had no “politically correct” argument, he was billed as “The Australian Fat Boy”.

  William was born in Brisbane and at 9 years old he had reached proportions not normally seen in the mid 1800's. At nine years of age William measured 1.5M (4' 10') tall, he measured 40.6cms (16'') around the arm, 124.5cms (49'') around the waist, 86.4cms (34'' ) around the thigh and 53cms (20.5'' ) around the knee.

He was described in one newspaper as having “all the appearance of being in good health, and manages to walk and move about without the least difficulty.”

 By the time William had reached 15 years old, not long after his “levee” in Kapunda, he had reached a whopping 125Kg's (25 stone).

Only a few years later he would retire from the public sideshow business. William lost most of his weight as he got older and eventually lived an obscure life away from the public eye, passing away in the early 1900's