Joseph Carey Merrick was known as The Elephant Man.
He was born on 5th august,1862, in 50 Lee Street,Leicester.
He also known as John Merrick.
Father -Joseph Rockley Merrick and Mother – Mary Jane.
He began to develop abnormally during the first years of his life. His skin appeared thick and lumpy, he developed an enlargement of his lips, and a piece of bone has increased in his forehead. One arm and both feet became enlarged and during his early childhood, he damaged his hip after a fall, resulting in permanent lameness. When he was 11, her mother died and his father remarried soon. Merrick had left school at 12, and had difficulty in finding employment. Rejected by her father and stepmother, he left home. In 1879, aged 17, he appointed in the Leicester Union workhouse .
In 1884, after four years , Merrick contacted a showman named Sam Torr and suggested that he should showed to public. Torr agreed and prepared a show name The Elephant Man Show.
He travelled for this show to London. London Hospital was very near and Dr Frederick Treves noticed him.
Dr Treves invited him to hospital for examination.
However this show was closed by police and they were sent to europe for another show but in Belgium he was robbed by his manager and left alone in Brussels. He anyhow return back to London and miraculously Dr Treves found him. He took back to the London Hospital. Although his condition was incurable, Merrick was allowed to remain in hospital for the rest of his life. Treves visited him every day and the pair developed a close friendship. Merrick was visited by rich ladies and gentlemen of London society, including Alexandra, Princess of Wales.
Merrick died April 11, 1890, aged 27. The official cause of death was asphyxiation, although Treves, who dissected the body, said that Merrick had died of a broken neck. He believed that Merrick, who had to sleep sitting up because of the weight of his head had been trying to sleep lying down, to “be like others.” The exact cause of deformations Merrick is unclear. The dominant theory in most of the 20th century was that Merrick suffered from Neurofibromatosis type I. In 1986, a new theory has emerged that he had Proteus syndrome. In 2001, it was suggested that Merrick suffered from a combination of neurofibromatosis type I and Proteus syndrome. DNA tests done on her hair and bones have proved inconclusive. In 1979, the Bernard Pomerance play about Merrick called The Elephant Man made its debut and the film by David Lynch , also called The Elephant Man, was released the following year.
The shop on Whitechapel Road where Merrick was exposed. Today it sells saris.
“Ladies and gentlemen … I would like to introduce Mr Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man. Before doing so I ask you please to prepare yourselves—Brace yourselves up to witness one who is probably the most remarkable human being ever to draw the breath of life.”
-Tom Norman during Joesph Merrick First Introduction As The Elephant Man
Merrick cap and the hood
The only surviving letter written by Merrick
Card church built by Merrick
“He often said to me that he wished he could lie down to sleep ‘like other people’ … he must, with some determination, have made the experiment … Thus it came about that his death was due to the desire that had dominated his life—the pathetic but hopeless desire to be ‘like other people'”
Dr Frederick Treves after Joseph death
The skeleton of Joseph Merrick