P.T. Barnum and Tom Thumb

From what I read about freak shows in the Victorian age, the most popular and profitable was a young man named Tom Thumb presented by P.T. Barnum. Thumb was only five, but Barnum said he was eleven. Standing at only 25 inches and weighing 15 pounds, Tom was able to make a decent living as one of Barnum’s attractions. Originally from America and legally named Charles Stratton, Barnum billed him as “General Tom Thumb” and dressed him in military style uniforms. He performed for Queen Victoria herself and she became one of his fans. I’m sure Tom wasn’t happy being an spectacle, but earned around the modern day equivalent of 4300 dollars a week! Eventually, Thumb would return to New York and marry a fellow dwarf, so all ended well for him which seemed to be a rare end for a Victorian tale.Deformities and such are actually pretty rare these due to modern medicine, but if one person could’ve been in a Victorian freak show from today’s modern age; Andre the Giant would have fit in quite well. Andre made his fame as a professional wrestler and actor,eventually passing away in 1993.



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