Isaac W. Sprague

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Sprague in 1867, age 26

Isaac W. Sprague (May 21, 1841, in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts[1] - January 5, 1887, in Chicago, Illinois[2]) was a famous "human skeleton".


Although normal for most of his childhood, Sprague began losing weight at age 12.[3] In 1865, he joined a circus sideshow, becoming "the Living Skeleton" or "the Original Thin Man".[3][4] The next year P. T. Barnum hired Sprague to work at his American Museum until it burned down in 1865, continuing off and on to tour him throughout the country.[4] By the age of 44, he was 5 feet and 6 inches tall with a weight of only 43 pounds.[3] He died, in poverty,[4] of asphyxia.[1]

He married Minnie Thompson[1] or Tamar Moore,[4] and the couple had three strong, healthy, robust sons.[2]


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