Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Midget troupes

A recent post about Red Indians (American Indians) queried whether they were exploited by owners of Wild West shows. There was a big response to an earlier post on Tom Thumb's wife and other groups.

Here are two more postcards that I acquired recently. The first advertises Fred Roper's Wonderful Midgets and shows Fred Roper with General Rollason. Fred is 2ft 10in high and 18 years old. The second is an advertising card for Chaffer's Wonder Midgets.

I can remember reading, from time to time, about how badly treated these fellow human beings were treated, but I wonder how true the accounts are? There must have been a showman, surely, who looked after his performers. Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?


  1. Hi Laurie,
    You sure have a knack for unearthing the most curious glimpses into the past. I tried to Google Chaffer's Wonder Midgets, but other than alot of references to postcards like this one, didn't see any real discussion about who they were, nor how they were treated. What a strange and wonderful world we live in. Strange how a fascination for "freaks" engendered freak shows for quite a long while, before such things became politically incorrect.

    Was thinking of you while exploring a series of cemeteries in small towns near Beauvais on Thursday... some pictures will no doubt follow in days to come...

  2. I think you may have misidentified "General Rollason," who is a woman and is the Little Person in the photo. The tall man is Fred Roper.

  3. "General Rollason" was my aunt. her name was Edith Rollason, from Coventry, England.