520 pounds, 5 Foot Tall, and as Beautiful as She is Big.

Updated: Feb 22


CDV photograph of Ada Briggs, taken by Abraham Bogardus in New York in the 1870s. Barnum Circus Fat Lady of splendid renown.


Born in Pulaski, New York. Ada began working for Barnum in the 1870s, and her career lasted into the 20th century. Ada was not only big, but attractive as well. One newspaper from the 1880s said, "She is 520 pounds, 5 foot tall, and is as beautiful as she is big." Ada was known as the "Fat Beauty." She made fifty percent more money than her portly competitors - $60 p/wk. compared to their $40 p/wk. A reference dated from 1884 notes her as making $75 p/wk., and "set up for life." In 1885, Ms. Briggs was elected as President of the Fat Lady Convention in Baltimore. At that time her weight was a fabulous 536 pounds!


Shared from my collection of photographs.




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