Friday, November 19, 2010

Big weddings

Anna Swan (7' 6") and Martin Van Buren Bates (7' 9")
1871, London

Canadian giant Anna Swan (1846-1888) was working for P.T. Barnum when she met "Kentucky giant" Martin Van Buren Bates (1837-1919) in 1869 while sailing to Liverpool for an extended tour. The couple became a sensation, and soon fell in love and announced their engagement. At a royal command performance, Queen Victoria presented them each with a huge gold watch and, in addition, gave Anna a diamond cluster ring and a wedding gown as gifts for the coming nuptials. The wedding was covered by the press, with the Telegraph remarking, "The bride's dress became her well. And there was something of stateliness and dignity in the skill with which she managed a most imposing train." The couple had 2 babies of remarkable size, but neither survived infancy. Anna and Martin retired to Seville, Ohio, in 1874, but Anna soon died of consumption.

Wayne (6' 10.4") and Laurie (6' 5.95") Hallquist
2003, Stockton, California

Yesterday, the 21st c. counterparts of Anna Swan and Martin Van Buren Bates were given the official title of "Tallest Living Married Couple" by Guinness World Records. Wayne and Laurie Hallquist (2nd image) met at their church in Stockton, California, and wed in 2003. He is a telephone company wire splicer and she is a real estate agent, and both have a sense of humor. "It's a whole different perspective up here, and we can find each other quite easily in a crowd," said Laurie, and Wayne added, "We can see several people going bald [who] might not know it at the moment." They have no plans for kids, but would love their legacy to live on - perhaps on reality television as a counterpoint to all those shows about little people.


  1. Ah, only at Quigley's Cabinet! Thank you.

  2. That's amazing! And here I thought my brother was tall at 6'9"! :o)


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