Louis Coulon's Unique Portraits: Known for His 11-foot Beard, Which He Used as a Nest for His Beloved Cats


This incredible facial hair not only won people's hearts but also secured his place in history as he held the record for the longest beard ever grown in France.

Legend has it that Lewis had been shaving since he was 12, but his razor blades could not keep up with his rapidly growing beard.

By the time he was 14, his beard had reached 50 centimeters (19.6 in) in length. From then on, it was just a matter of letting it grow to monstrous proportions.

His impressive beard made him a popular photographic model from the late 19th to the early 20th century.

During this time, dozens of different editions of postcards featuring him were published, immortalizing his unique appearance for future generations.

Louis, like his father François, began his career in the iron foundry of the Châtillon company in Commentry and Neuves-Maisons. He also worked as a union official there for some time.

Later, he went to work in the Saint-Jacques factories in Montluçon, where he spent decades honing his art.

His commitment to his work earned him the nickname "Dean of Metallurgists", a title given to him by the daily newspaper Le Petit Journal, which wrote in 1905 that he had worked as a metallurgist for 67 years.

Throughout his life, Lewis was known for having the world's longest beard, which averaged about 3 meters in length and by 1908 had reached an impressive 3.35 metres.

His fame began in the mid-19th century when he met Emperor Napoleon III and continued to attract the attention of journalists and scientists until his demise, all fascinated by his extraordinary facial hair.

Louise became a cultural icon of sorts, especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as her image graced countless postcards throughout France.

These postcards cemented his status as a notable figure, immortalized in the popular medium of the time.

“Coulon is 1.59 meters tall, he has to support his beard with his hand when he walks; He lets it reach his feet, then lifts it on his folded right arm and the beard falls on the other side below the knee.

When he wraps it around his neck, it looks like one of those big bouffants that are so fashionable at the moment.

We wonder if his beard hinders his work. But Louis Coulon found a way. He wraps his beard in a kind of mattress, puts it under his shirt, on his chest, and thus is not burdened by his work. ,

That same year, on February 24, he appeared on the cover of the journal Illustre.

By then, he had grown a 3.35-metre beard, which he washed in the waters of the river Cher that crosses Montluçon.

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