Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous hoaxes in American history, was a 10-foot-tall stone man discovered October 16, 1869 by workers digging a well behind the barn of William C. "Stub" Newell in Cardiff, New York.
It became the subject of huge interest and debate, with some saying it was an ancient statue and others saying it was a petrified human giant from days of old. Eventually it turned out that the Giant was the creation of a New York tobacconist named George Hull who spent $2,600 having the Giant carved and buried but who sold the creation for $37,500 to a syndicate of five men headed by David Hannum. It was moved to Syracuse, New York for exhibition.
It drew such crowds that showman P.T. Barnum offered $60,000 for a three-month lease of it. When he was turned down he made a plaster replica and put it on display, claiming that his was the real giant and the Cardiff Giant was a fake. As the newspapers reported Barnum's version of the story, David Hannum was quoted as saying, "There's a sucker born every minute." This was in reference to the suckers paying to see Barnum's giant. Over time, the quotation has been misattributed to P.T. Barnum himself.
The Cardiff Giant is still on display at the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
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