All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Leonard Trask, the Wonderful Invalid

A Brief Historical Sketch of the Life and Sufferings of Leonard Trask, the Wonderful Invalid, tells the sad story of a man from Hartford and Peru who suffered a horrible injury when thrown from a horse in about 1833. Three subsequent accidents made his condition progressively worse, until Trask's spine became so deformed that his chin rested on his chest.
He has no power to move his head up or down, to the right or left, without moving his whole body; his neck, and upper part of the back, having become perfectly rigid, and the whole upper part of the spinal column, in the opinion of skillful physicians has become ossified.
In his prime he was erect, of symmetrical proportion,—standing six feet one inch in his boots, and weighing 199 pounds. To his chin he now measures three feet nine and a half inches; and to his shoulders, which are now the summit of the trunk, he measures four feet ten and a half inches, and weighs about 134 pounds.
Showhistory.com has a rare carte de visite of Trask, taken in Lewiston near the end of his life. Leonard died April 13, 1861, and was buried in the Oldham Cemetery, Peru.

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