Fat Men’s Ball

This is one of 804 articles in my book Now and Then Again, The Way We Were and the Way We Are. The book is available from Amazon for $16.95 print, $9.95 Kindle and also as an ebook from itunes, Kobo, and Scribd for $9.95. Also from Tolino in Germany. It’s fixed format so it’s better  with a tablet, laptop, or computer. There are more articles from the book on another blog here.

Fat Men’s Ball

The first annual ball of the Fat Men’s Association of the City of New York was held at Irving Hall December 20, 1869.
Tickets were sold to the public, who watched from galleries above the dance floor, to raise money for the Fat Men’s annual picnic in Norwalk, Connecticut.

The guest of honor was seven year old Thomas Conway (80½ pounds) introduced by the president of the Association John Fiske (358 pounds).


Music was provided by Claudio Grafulla, the March King before Sousa, conducting the Seventh Regiment Band, which was much in demand at the time for social events. The band played The Fat Men’s March, specially composed for the occasion by Grafulla. Continue reading