Today is the birthday of George Washington Morrison Nutt (1844-1881). At age 17 New Hampshire native Nutt was hired by P.T. Barnum as a replacement for General Tom Thumb in his American Museum. By this point the General had begun to grow in both physical and social stature. Not only had he been getting taller since 1847, but as an international superstar he was now too grand to present alongside Barnum’s ordinary prodigies. Commodore Nutt was to be the most famous of the many little people Barnum hired to fill the void. After three years at the museum, he toured the world with a troup led by Tom Thumb.
To learn more history about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc