March 23, 1921: Evolution 'awfully hard' on a man's figure

  • Blog Post by: Ben Welter
  • March 24, 2012 - 5:14 PM
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

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