"The Chinese Giant" by Project B
The Chinese Giant, A Bogardus & Co. Photo., Circa 1885.
Photographic reproduction of original piece
Size: 21 cm x 14.5 cm x 2 cm
Born in Canton Province, China, Gow grew to the height of 7 feet 8,75 inches (235,5 cm) tall. Widely traveled, he was a man of exceptional intelligence, speaking at least ten languages. Considered the tallest man in the world, he made money through appearances advertised as 'The Chinese Giant', becoming a popular tourist attraction. In Australia he met his second wife, Catherine, who bore him two sons, Edwin (born in Beijing) and Ernest (born in Paris).
After appearing on Barnum and Bailey's 'Greatest Show on Earth', he grew tired of 30 years of traveling the world like a wonder and retired. To cure their suspected tuberculosis, the family settled in Bournemouth (1890), establishing an oriental bazaar business and tearoom in their home. He became a popular local 'attraction' in Bournemouth when he and his wife went for a walk in the evenings, now known as 'The Gentle Giant'. He was always kind and friendly, but he was looking for a quiet life.
Heartbroken over the death of his wife, he died 4 months later. Still mourning the loss of his wife, on his deathbed he asked for a quiet funeral. Therefore, his funeral was kept secret to prevent hundreds of spectators from attending. He was buried in an unnamed grave alongside his wife in a coffin said to be eight feet long.