This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

How tall men were in the old west

Everyone knows that Americans are big. And I don't mean fat here, I mean big. If you read about the GIs in Europe during WWII, you know that the local population was always amazed at our height, and our size. And men in America have gotten much bigger since then. I mean, have you ever seen a professional athlete - even a baseball player - in person? None of them are under six feet, and some are nearly seven.

In the *old west*, that is, the Victorian era of the late 1800s, men over six feet tall were rare. Civil War military records always recorded height, weight, that sort of thing, so we have a very accurate record of how big these guys were. My Civil War ancestor, Thomas Burroughs Phillips, was 5' 7", so he was a fairly big guy. Average heights for men were from just over five feet to just under six feet. Someone who was over six feet tall, like Abraham Lincoln, would have been a giant who towered over everyone. And he did!

The most important factor, aside from genetics, in determining achieving a large size, is nutrition. America has led the way since the 1920s in providing safe, nutritious food. And it shows!
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