“America’s Greatest Hoax in Cooperstown!”
The Cardiff Giant, a ten-foot-long gypsum figure known as “America’s Greatest Hoax” has been on exhibit since the 1940s at The Farmers’ Museum. The Cardiff Giant traces the story of this “petrified man,” which was the centerpiece of a moneymaking scheme by a businessman from Binghamton, New York. The Cardiff Giant was created and displayed in the 19th century, and public reaction to it reflected the scientific and religious beliefs of the time. George Hull, a cigar-maker and get-rich-quick artist, came up with the idea to create the Giant during a business trip to Iowa. Hull, an atheist, argued with a revivalist minister about a biblical passage. The phrase “There were giants in the earth in those days” (Genesis 6:4), sparked Hull’s imagination and led to an involved plot that eventually made him a fortune.
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Cardiff Giant at Farmers Museum
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