Today is the birthday of Huldah Pierce Warren Bump (1849-1879), the sister of the more famous Lavinia Warren, wife of General Tom Thumb. Like her sister, Minnie performed as a singer, and worked for P.T. Barnum. She was to marry fellow little person Edmund Newell, a.k.a General Grant, Jr. Sadly she died giving birth to their first child at age 29.
To find out 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.
For more on silent and slapstick comedy please check out 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