"Ferro, the Magnetic Man"
Argentina, c.1933 
180 cm ~ Preserved flesh, scrap iron

 

 One of the more curious items in the Gallery is the preserved body of Estancio Gomez, known as the Magnetic Man of La Mancha. At an early age Estancio discovered his unusual ability to attract ferrous metals, and by the age of 12 his attractive strength had increased to the point where his overjoyed parents were able to sell him to a traveling circus for 200 pesos and 5 lottery tickets.

Under his stage name of Ferro, Estancio toured the world with the Bobo Brothers troupe, which also featured the Flying Enchilada Sisters trapeze act and one of the largest groups of harmonica-playing midgets ever assembled, known as Half-Height Homer and the Honer Hotshots in English (it loses the alliteration in Spanish). 

His career was almost ruined in 1928 when he happened to be playing under the same tent with Iris the Iron Maiden. Irresistibly drawn to each other, they snapped into an embarrassingly compromising position in the main ring during a matinee, leading to many awkward questions on the part of young children in the audience. It took the combined efforts of Jumbo and Sampson from the elephant act to separate the two, and Iris sued the circus for breach of breeches.

The Depression found the Bobo Brothers stranded in Detroit, Michigan, after their appearance at the State Fair had been cancelled due to lack of funds. Their railway carriages were sidelined in a poorer section of the city, and that was where Ferro met his fate. Unaware that his railroad sleeping car was parked alongside the nation's largest scrapyard, he flung open the door that morning and stepped outside to greet the day. The expression on his face still records his surprise as any iron deficiency condition he may have had was instantly and permanently relieved.

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Acquired as part of an exchange program with the Argentine National Treasure Selloff Committee. "Nuestra historia puede ser su historia." Marco Registrada.

 

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