Category Archives: Physical Handicap

1922: Handicapped Elmer M. Shunk

From a 1922 issue of The American Magazine:


Loss of Hands Was His Goad to Ambition

In a doorway fronting on Market Street, San Francisco, a crowd pressed close about a young man busily writing cards. Displayed on the table were examples of the writer’s penmanship, exhibiting the ornate flourishes of the professional penman.

A hobo of about thirty, watching the performance with unfeigned surprise and admiration, exclaimed, “Say, young feller, if you can make a living without hands, I reckon I ain’t got no call to be a hobo.”

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Physical Handicap

1920: Engineer Charles Lee Cook

Two notes:

1) Writer B.C. Forbes is he who co-founded Forbes magazine.

2) I became interested in Cook because Forbes apparently did an entire book about him with the same title as this article.

From a 1920 issue of The American Magazine:



A Genius Who Never Walked a Step

The extraordinary story of Charles Lee Cook — a Louisville invalid, who, against great odds, has achieved wonders

by B. C. Forbes

A cripple who has never been able to walk a step in his life, and who was taken from school when seven years of age, recently refused a forty-thousand-dollar-a-year job.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Engineering, Physical Handicap

1922: Businessman A. Elmo Hudson

From a 1922 issue of The American Magazine:


A Bedfast Executive Whose Office Never Closes

Completely paralyzed from the waist down, unable to sit propped up in bed for any length of time, A. Elmo Hudson has overcome his physical handicaps to such an extent that he is one of the most “active” business men in Kansas City.

When customers call the Santa Fé Transfer Company in Kansas City, only a very small percentage of them realize that the cheerful voice taking their orders belongs to a man who is speaking into the telephone from his bed.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Physical Handicap