March 23, 1921: Evolution 'awfully hard' on a man's figure
March 24, 2012 — 5:14pm
A “Detroit scientist” shared his bizarre theories on the front page of the Minneapolis Tribune:
First 24 Million Years Going to Be Awfully Hard on Man’s Figure
After That He’ll Be 132 Inches Tall, Have Legs Like Pipe Stems, Says Scientist.
Universal News Service
Detroit, March 22. – Man is growing so big that in time he will have to get off the earth.
He will be in the same class with the dinosaurs and the mammoth white elephant and other prehistoric elephants.
So maintains Levi S. Gardner, Detroit scientist, inventor of the ball-bearing typewriter, the electric gun and student of evolution.
“Men will be 132 inches tall in 24,000,000 years and in a few more million he’ll be too large to live on the earth; there won’t be enough food to sustain him,” Gardner said today.
He says future man will have a spine resembling a circus pole in length.
“The automobile is lengthening men’s spines,” Gardner stated, “and it is shortening his legs. If people ride around in autos for a few million years their legs will be about the size of pipe-stems and won’t be strong enough to support the rest of the body, which will grow larger as the legs grow shorter. Men of the future will have broader shoulders and bigger heads.”
Gardner maintains that it is the jouncing of the automobile which so affects the spine. Auto manufacturers here threaten to sue him for libeling the auto industry.
Prohibition and other efforts to take temptation away from the people, if persisted in, means that the race will be eliminated before its time, according to Gardner.
Paul C. Buetow, the proud owner of a new Ford, seemed happy enough in this 1921 photo. If only he knew what a few years behind the wheel would do to his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren. (Photo courtesy mnhs.org)
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Miss Louisa M. Alcott died this morning. Coming so soon after the death of her father, the suddenly announced death of Louisa M. Alcott brings a double sorrow. For a long time Miss Alcott has been ill, suffering from nervous prostration. Last autumn she appeared to be improving and went to the highlands to reside with Dr. Rhoda A. Lawrence. While there she drove into town to visit her father, Thursday, the 1st, and caught a cold, which on Saturday settled on the based of the brain and developed spinal meningitis. She died at the highlands early this morning. Miss Alcott was born on an anniversary of her father's birthday, and it is singular that she should have followed him so soon to the grave.
Have you read "Canoeing With the Cree," Eric Sevareid's engaging account of his 1930 canoe trip from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay? Sevareid, 17, and a 19-year-old friend paddled more than 2,200 miles that summer. A few decades earlier, another 17-year-old boy from Minneapolis and two friends set out on a canoe adventure that was nearly as ambitious.
The Minnesota State Fair has featured many unusual attractions in its 150-year history: death-defying aerial acts, colliding locomotives, freak shows, live animal births, the Minnesota Iceman and premature babies in incubators. Wait … what? The Minneapolis Morning Tribune was there: