1970s articles on Guinness eating records

The Los Angeles Times did an article in 1972 on the eating and drinking exploits of Eddie “Bozo” Miller, called the “World’s Greatest Trencherman” by The Guinness Book of World Records which is now available for free. Part 1 | Part 2

A Chicago Tribune article from 1978 about Guinness record holders describes Lynda Kuerth breaking of the hot dog record the previous year:

Indeed, hot dogs proved the ticket. [Jimmy] Davenport gulped down 20 in 3 minutes, 33 seconds to set a new world record. Yet, uneasy is the head that wears the crown, so Davenport embarked on his quest to tighten his grip on the 1978 edition. He then halved the existing time for eating 2 1/2 pounds of shrimp. He confronted his old nemesis and bettered the time for swallowing 14 hard boiled eggs, a record held by England’s redoubtable Peter Dowdeswell. (who also is beer-drinking king). Davenport defended his titles in Baltimore, New Orleans, and finally headed for Philadelphia and Veterans Stadium, where, before 32000 witnesses, he planned to put away the frankfurter record for keeps.

How could he possibly have recognized the dangerous pretender to the throne, the slim young woman beside him, whose mysterious smile alternated between Davenport and her imposing franks. Little did he know this was the legendary Lynda Kuerth, whose name first had made news after she consumed 15 banana splits at Olivet College, Olivet, Mich. Little did Davenport know that, while he was downing his strategic pre-contest meal the night before (“to swell the stomach”), Kuerth was tossing down baked potatoes, salads, and four T-bone steaks at Jimmy’s Steak House. And when the big scoreboard clock read 3 minutes, 10 seconds, the amazing Kuerth had stolen both the hearts of the screaming crowd and the title with an astonishing 23 frankfurters.

Already Kuerth has heard rumors of 22 hot dogs eaten since, hot dogs eaten since, but she’s confident she can turn back any challenge. She modestly attributes her unique process to nothing more than cool nerves and high metabolism.

The Sports Illustrated archive has a long 1979 profile of the McWhirter brothers, co-founders of The Guinness Book of World Records which reports that Norris McWhirter personally decided that the sausages used in the hot dog record should weigh 2 ounces.

The AP reported on a 1979 event in Washington State where participants attempted to break various Guinness eating records. (No attempts were successful.)

Comments (1)

1 Comment »

  1. Blizzz said (Registered July 16, 2008)

    May 2, 2009 @ 2:56 am

    It really cracks me up when they talk about metabolism during a 3 minute eating contest. It is completely negligible. As if the body has any time to “metabolize” what has been ingested. LOL.

    Oh and Dowesdell was amazing. I’m not sure if he’s still alive, but his records were absolutely unbelievable.

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