The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

Categories: History

Almost the whole world knew Fyodor Andreevich Makhnov at one time. The fact is that he was the tallest person. With a weight of 182 kilograms, his height was 285 centimeters, and a 12-year-old child could easily fit in his boot. 

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

Fyodor Makhnov was born on June 6 (old style), 1878 in the village of Kostyuki, Vitebsk county (now Belarus) in a poor family. Makhnov's family was taller than average, but not giants. Fyodor's mother died during childbirth, the child turned out to be very large. The grandfather was engaged in the upbringing of the boy.

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

At first, Fyodor Makhnov developed like an ordinary child, but by the age of eight he began to grow strenuously. At the age of 12, his height already reached two meters. His foot was 51 centimeters, and his palm was 32 centimeters. His strength also corresponded to his height — he could easily lift an adult person or pull a hay cart into a mountain. The landowner Korzhenevsky hired a young hero to clean the river from boulders that interfered with the operation of the watermill.

When Fyodor turned 14, because of his abnormal growth, he even had to rebuild the hut. The children laughed at him because of his height, in response, the giant hung their hats on the ridge of the roof or shed.

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

One day, the owner of a traveling circus, Otto Bidinder, noticed a young giant at the market in Vitebsk, where Fyodor worked part-time to earn money for clothes and shoes that were made to order for him. At that time, unusual people were very popular, so Otto persuaded Fyodor's relatives to let the young man go to Germany.

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

At first, Fyodor Makhnov studied German and circus art. At the age of 16, the young man signed a contract to work in a circus. Fyodor broke bricks with the edge of his palm, unbent horseshoes, and lying down could lift a platform with a small orchestra. But most people came to the performances to see a real giant with their own eyes — by the age of 25, Makhnov had grown to 2 meters 85 centimeters.

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

The giant's power also corresponded to such dimensions. For breakfast, he ate an omelet of 20 eggs, 8 rolls of bread and two liters of tea, for lunch-two and a half kilograms of meat and the same amount of potatoes. And Makhnov could have slept for more than 24 hours.

Makhnov gave nine years to work in the circus and became a wealthy man. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he moved to his native land, where he bought the land of the landowner Korzhenevsky, and remade the estate to suit his growth and called it Velikanovo. Bidinder sent materials for construction from Germany. Makhnov maintained friendly relations with Otto Bidinder until the end of his life. 

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

Despite his considerable fortune and kind disposition, the giant could not find a mate for a long time. As a result, he married a rural teacher Efrosinya Lebedeva. The girl was taller than average, but still a meter shorter than her husband. His wife gave birth to Fyodor five children.

Sometimes Fyodor Makhnov went to Europe to work — he performed in circuses. And his popularity did not fall. He was often invited to social events, where he managed to amuse the guests by lighting cigarettes from the chandelier. Trips were difficult for Makhnov: transport, hotels and restaurants did not correspond to the giant's growth.

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

The tallest man on earth lived in the Russian Empire

Fyodor Makhnov died in 1912 at the age of 34. The cause of death is not known for sure. Fyodor was buried at the cemetery in the village of Kostyuki.

On the stone tombstone is written: "Fyodor Andreevich Makhnov. Born on June 6, 1878. He died on August 28, 1912. The tallest man in the world. He was 3 arshins 9 vershkov tall." In fact, the height is indicated incorrectly: the value of 3 arshins 9 vershkov (254 centimeters), which is 30 centimeters less than the actual one, was taken from the contract that Fyodor Makhnov concluded at the age of 16.

Keywords: Russian Federation | History | Circus | Growth | Russian empire | Giants | Unusual | Giant

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