Mrs. Tom Thumb Visits Philadelphia


It didn’t take much to get your name into the Exponent in the waning days of President Benjamin Harrison’s administration, as the back page was devoted to the kind of stuff people would now post on Facebook, albeit without emojis and internet slang.

For example:

“Rev. and Mrs. Henry Iliowizi of 2127 Gratz Ave. have changed their day ‘at home’ to Saturday instead of Tuesday.”

“Mr. Gus Koopman of Atlantic City, who has won distinction as an artist, has three paintings at the president Art Club exhibit.”

“Mr. Louis Wiener is proving himself an efficient manager. He is certainly making the café in the Builders’ Exchange a popular dining room for Jewish ladies and gentlemen.” It should be noted that Wiener also had a front-page advertisement.

And the most interesting one:

“Mr. and Mrs. Abe Hirsch of 969 Franklin St. entertained General Dot and Mrs. Tom Thumb at dinner last Sunday evening. The affair was an elaborate one, and a number of Mr. and Mrs. Hirsch’s friends had been invited to meet the distinguished midgets.” Yes, that term is now politically incorrect.

Mrs. Tom Thumb (Mercy Lavinia Warren Stratton) was a circus performer and the wife of General Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton); the dwarf couple were star attractions for P.T. Barnum.

It’s unclear from a Google search who General Dot was, as General Tom Thumb had died 10 years earlier. Mrs. Tom Thumb had remarried another dwarf, Count Primo Magri, who also was billed as Count Rosebud.


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