Here’s one of Lavinia Warren Stratton, her sister, Minnie Warren, and a baby. Neither one of them had children of their own, as they were unable to conceive and/or would not have been able to survive pregnancy due to their small stature.
P.T. Barnum would rent a standard size baby to display with them, and when the baby got too old, he would rent a new one. This CDV is anonymous – given the overall soft and mediocre quality of the image, I’m guessing it was a copy of someone else’s photo, most likely by one of the New York studio photographers like Eisenmann, J. Wood, or maybe Masury. Given the plain-ness of the set, I doubt it would have been one of the posh studios like Brady’s or Gurney or Bogardus, as this photo doesn’t even have a floor cloth or a decorative curtain. I’ll keep looking for a credited version of this photo (if any of you out there in internet-land have a version of this with back mark or other credit, please let me know, I’d love to see it!).
Thanks to a friend and highly estimable collector of photographica, I received this additional bit of information. Minnie Warren was able to conceive, and died after giving birth to a baby, who also did not survive. Here is her obituary in the Laconia, NH Mercantile Journal, August 7, 1878.
Here’s an interesting one – a composite CDV of all the wedding CDVs from Tom Thumb’s wedding, plus a couple. This must have been a promo teaser from the Anthony archives, showcasing all the Tom Thumb CDVs in their catalog.
I have most of the wedding CDVs except the one with the priest (if anyone has a lead on a good copy of that one, please send me that way!), and a whole bunch not included on this card. When I get the chance to re-scan and re-organize my Tom Thumb CDV collection, I’ll post a new summary of them.
A companion purchase to the recent Lucia Zarate CDV, here is a CDV of Francis Joseph Flynn, otherwise known as General Mite. There is a real-world connection between the two of them, as they performed together on stage in an international tour.
In 1884 he would marry Millie Edwards, another little person, and would die in 1898 in Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia (Wikipedia)
Well, look who just dropped in. This is my second Lucia Zarate image.
She is in the Guinness Book of Records as the lightest adult recorded, weighing in at 4.7 lbs at the time the record was made. She was born in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, and according to Wikipedia, her family home is open as a museum.
She also obviously traveled significantly in her sideshow career, having been photographed at age 13 in New York, and at age 18 in London. She succumbed to her small size at 26 when her train was crossing the North American Sierra Nevada in winter and stalled, rendering her hypothermic.
The latest arrival in my collection – a new CDV of the Thumb “family” including the rent-a-baby, in a pose I haven’t seen before, combined with an advertising verso. The grand irony of the advertisement is that it violates the prime directive of advertising – let your customers know WHERE to get your products. Where on earth (let alone what street in what town in what state) is B. Green’s Modern Wonder Department??
This is another CDV I’ve been looking for for a long time – Che Mah, the Chinese Dwarf. I had previously purchased a copy that was in faded condition, thinking it would be some time before I’d find another in better shape. Then this one rolled around.
Unlike the facsimile signatures on the versos of a bunch of my Tom Thumb CDVs, I do believe the pencil signature in English and Chinese is in the hand of Che Mah directly. It certainly does not appear to be mechanically reproduced, and it looks distinct from the signature on the first one: