A Ninety-five Pound Wonder
Science is Useful After All
I must confess that when I was in high school, many long years ago, I did not choose physics as an elective. I wanted to stay as far away as possible. Why would I want to learn how fast an object of a certain weight, such as an apple, fall to the ground from a certain determined height? So I chose geometry, which I have never needed either for my personal life, but did for my professional.
But, physics was a lifesaver for Mrs. Abbott. In 1886 her husband died leaving her with three children. So she had to earn a living and she did in such a manner it baffled many here in Minnesota and elsewhere.
In the Minneapolis Tribune in the October 15th issue of 1890, Mrs. Annie Abbott was featured as a wonder and a genuine phenomenon. One time she stood upon one heel of her No.1 shoe and could not be pushed off balance by six men. She was attributed to lifting six to eight men seated on two chairs two feet from the floor. She could not be lifted by six men despite her only weighing 95 pounds.
She traveled around the United States with her children putting on performances that stunned the audiences.
The Minneapolis Tribune published her secret of using physics as her way of mastering these feats. Later other people started to mimic her act but none rose to her level. She died in 1915 and is buried at Milledgeville's Memory Hill Cemetery.
Information is from Minnesota Mysteries A History of Unexplained Wonders, Eccentric Characters, Preposterous Claims & Baffling Occurences in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes by Ben Welter, Published by The History Press in 2013.