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Miss Jennie Quigley, Lilliputian Actress, 1878-81

In Photographs > Cartes-De-Visite > Show & TellPhotographs > Show & TellVictorian Era > Show & Tell.
Cartes-De-Visite32 of 327Pair of cdv imagesCDV, Scottish Young Boy, C.LAWES, COBOURG
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    Posted 3 years ago

    (914 items)

    Hello Everyone.
    Good Evening from Ontario.2018-04-28
    I found this CDV, Carte de visite Yesterday, i just want to research a little more before posting, i am glad i did, because what I found is very amazing and great History here.
    At the bottom of the CDV we can read : Miss Jennie Quigley, 28 years old; Height, 28 inch. ; Weight, 32 lbs.
    H.R. Doane, Photo., Delavan, Wis.

    PICTURE #2 was found online, she was 22 years old, 6 years younger (sorry for the poor quality picture)

    Here what I found :

    I found Jane & Jennie Quigley in the 1900 Chicago census, here is the info:
    Jane Quigley, head, born April 1829, age 71, widow, born in Scotland.
    Jennie Quigley, daughter, born Aug 1850, age 49, single, born in Scotland, occupation was actress.
    Victor Quigley, grandson, born April 1888, age 12, born in IL.
    The family was living in Hyde Park.

    I also found the following by doing a Google search for "Jennie Quigley, midget".

    Jennie Quigley was born in Glasgow, Scotland around 1853. She joined the Lilliputian Opera Company in America, after studying singing and acting, and adopted the title, Scottish Queen. As a performer, Jennie toured Europe and appeared before Queen Victoria and several other crowned heads of state. Her mother, Jane, was her constant companion and chaperone. The stage was her lifelong love. When she wasn't traveling, Chicago was her home.

    There are differing reports about her size. One of her original cartes-de-visites, gives her measurements as 28 inches, and 32 pounds, but I have also read that she grew to be 34 inches and 36 pounds. Regardless of her size, she was often described as an attractive and graceful young woman, and was highly praised by critics for her talents.

    Jennie was sometimes given starring roles, such as Pocahontas and Cinderella, but would also frequently introduce the “specialties" during intermission. These specials were designed to enhance the overall production - they varied from singing and dancing, to more elaborate entertainment with special effects. Jennie would be paired off with another star, such as Colonel Speck, Commodore Foote or Admiral Dot, and together they would sing duets, dance, and 'flirt' on stage to amuse the audience before the main production resumed. This flirting sometimes continued off stage, and after Jennie's death it was learned that she and Commodore Foote were sweethearts.

    Whenever she could, Jennie would make a grand entrance on stage in her miniature Brougham carriage, pulled by a shetland pony. A royal coachman would open the door, bow with reverence, and assist Jennie as she regally stepped down to the stage floor.

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    1. shareurpassion shareurpassion, 3 years ago
      Great write up Alan! I had never heard of her before and she must have been quite the attraction of the day back then. Pretty impressive!
    2. jscott0363 jscott0363, 3 years ago
      Oh Alan, she's just amazing and your write up is great! She appears to be a primordial dwarf.
      My father had a second Great Aunt and Uncle that were little people and they were professional dancers. They traveled around the world performing. My Mother still has a photo of the two. I'll have to copy her photo and post it.
    3. Alan2310 Alan2310, 3 years ago
      shareurpassion, yes was a funny research come from several web site, including, “”, I am a member, you maybe suspected that.
      Many thanks friend for the visit, comments and appreciation, always love hear from you.
    4. shareurpassion shareurpassion, 3 years ago
      You are so welcome Alan. It's always a pleasure to see you here. I love seeing all the great things you come up with. I think you just have such great luck finding...wll, everything! I can't even imagine what your glass collection looks like now. I remember when you first started with it while here!

      And Mr J, I love your little story too! That's pretty interesting that they were both show people!
    5. wehsmith, 1 year ago
      I don't know if anybody is following this still... but She happens to be my Great Great Aunt.... One of my aunts has a lot of memorabilia from her that was passed down...

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