The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

 
 
 
General Mite

General Mite


A carte-de-visite portrait of General Mite, frequently called ’The Smallest Man in the World’.

Billed as ‘The Greatest Wonder of the Nineteenth Century’, ‘A Modern Miracle’ and ‘Assuredly the Smallest Man in the World,’ at the age of seventeen General Mite was only 22 inches and weighed a mere nine pounds. His publicity stated that he was ‘remarkably handsome, and perfect in form and feature’ and was ‘bright, smart and intelligent, and a perfect man in miniature’.

Born Francis Joseph Flynn in 1872 in Greene, N.Y., General Mite was first exhibited by his father, Edward Flynne. His age was greatly exaggerated in his advertisements in order to make him appear eight or nine years older than he really was. In 1884 he was ‘married’ to an English midget, Millie Edwards, in England. The event was widely publicized and the couple were subsequently billed as the ‘Royal American Midgets.’ The London Museum has a set of General Mite's clothes, but they are not on permanent exhibition.

Photographed by Brown, Barnes and Bell.

 

Code: 124822
 
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© Paul Frecker 2018