Anna Haining Swan Bates

Anna Haining Swan (born Bates) was born in New England (Canada) on August 6, 1846. At the time of her death on August 5, 1888, at the age of 41, she measured 8 feet tall (2.43 meters). She was the tallest woman of her time.

Anna Haining Swan Bates

Anna Haining Bates Anna’s growth didn’t follow the same pattern as Zeng Jinlian but appeared more conventional:

4 years old: 4 feet 6 inches (1.37 meters)
5 years old: 4 feet 8 inches (1.42 meters)
6 years old: 5 feet 2 inches (1.57 meters)
11 years old: 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 meters)
15 years old: 6 feet 10 inches (2.10 meters)

By the age of 22, Anna weighed 352 pounds (160 kg) and had feet measuring 14 inches (36 cm). Her growth trajectory made her one of the tallest individuals of her time, although not quite reaching the status of the second tallest woman of all time. Due to her extraordinary size, she attracted attention and was recruited at the age of 16 to perform at the American Museum on Broadway. The offer was quite enticing as it allowed her mother to accompany her, provided her with a substantial salary for the era (1000 dollars), and allowed her to continue her education, making use of her exceptional intelligence.

On July 13, 1865, a fire broke out at the American Museum where she was performing. Since the stairway was on fire, her size prevented her from exiting through the window. Fortunately, museum employees found a winch, broke through the wall, and were able to lower her down with the assistance of 18 men.

In 1871, Anna went on a European tour and met Martin Van Buren Bates, who would become her husband. He came from Kentucky and stood at 7 feet 9 inches (2.36 meters). They married on June 17, 1871, in London. Upon their return to the USA, they purchased a farm in Ohio and settled there. Their house had 14 feet (4.26 meters) ceilings and 8 feet 6 inches (2.60 meters) tall doors, with all furniture custom-made. Each summer, they toured with the W.W. Cole Circus.

Anna Haining Bates and Martin Van Buren Bates The world’s tallest couple also had two unfortunate children. The first, a daughter, weighed 18 pounds (8.16 kg) at birth and died shortly after. Four years later, they had a son who weighed 24 pounds (10.7 kg) at birth. He was the heaviest newborn ever recorded, measuring 29.5 inches (75 cm) with 6-inch (15 cm) feet. He passed away 11 hours after birth. On August 15, 1888, Anna passed away in her sleep, similar to Andr√© the Giant. It was the day before her 42nd birthday, and she had tuberculosis.

Don’t forget to discover the Story of the Tallest Couple of All Time

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