Stretching To Be A Fireman (Nov, 1941)

Stretching To Be A Fireman

GINO FRANCESCHINI, New York City, was only 5 feet 6-1/4 inches tall and had to be 5 feet 7 inches to qualify as a fireman. He made the neck stretcher shown above. When measured, he still lacked an eighth of an inch. He hit himself on head to make a bump—and still couldn’t make it.

8 comments
  1. Andrew L. Ayers says: April 11, 201111:48 am

    Either this is a joke put on by MI about a home traction device (which is what it looks like to me), or…

    …this man was a few fries short of a happy meal. Anyone who’d go thru all of that just to be a fireman – well, I’m not sure I’d want to be with him on a crew. Hitting oneself on the head to make a bump to be taller? Does that sound intelligent or sane to you? To me, it sounds like the solution someone would come up with after watching a few too many Warner Brother’s cartoons…

    He did all this, and then decided it would be a good idea would be to get his story and mug published in Mechanix Illustrated (at least it wasn’t Popular Science)?

  2. whoozle whaazle says: April 11, 20111:06 pm

    I forgot which show I saw this on but there a female who wanted to be a pilot. The only thing holding her back was her height so she surgically had her tibia broken. Her leg was then stretched and she waited for the bone to grown in the gap.

  3. Charlene says: April 11, 20111:46 pm

    @Andrew: Well, only after he failed.

    Also, there’s a good reason why would he want to “just” qualify for a respected public service position where he would earn a decent living wage with excellent benefits and the option to retire early on a fat pension. Compared to hauling around boxes at minimum wage it’s a darn good job.

  4. John says: April 11, 20112:26 pm

    Charlene: The Army didn’t think he was too short. Someone from NYC with his name enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942.

  5. JMyint says: April 11, 20112:58 pm

    Audie Murphy was only 5 foot 51/2 inches when he enlisted.

  6. Hirudinea says: April 11, 20113:30 pm

    Gion I know your depressed about not being a fireman, BUT DON’T HANG YOURSELF!

  7. dej says: April 11, 20115:13 pm

    looks like he made it in Aug 42

    http://select.nytimes.c…

  8. DouglasUrantia says: April 11, 20118:02 pm

    Today fireman height req vary a lot. Here in my town we have a fireman that is 5’3″. With female firefighters a lot has changed.

    Navy recruit male height req is 5′. You can enlist below that height with a waiver which is not difficult to obtain. A few have enlisted at 4’4″.

    For Marines one should be 4’10″. The Army prefers their new guys to be 5′ but I hear they can waiver you an inch or so shorter.

    Of course today, there is an emphasis on % body fat.

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