Monday, February 28, 2011

14. FILIPINO MIDGETS at the 1904 World’s Fair

The 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Missouri, also known as the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, was the largest ever held anywhere else on the planet at that time.  The United States became a world power, a power that had acquired several territories, including the Philippines.

The Filipino Midgets in comparison to a normal sized person

At the 1904 Exposition the Filipino Midgets were the highlights of the Philippine Exhibit. The midgets were brother and sister from Capiz, Panay. Juan de la Cruz, the male was, 32 years of age with height 24 inches. Miss Martha, Juan’s sister was 36 years with height 32 inches.  They were the smallest living adults known to be alive in the world at that time.

These photos were sold as souvenirs at the exposition.


 Description at the back:

These tiny people are brother and sister, two children of a family of five born in the village of Tanlalgan Province of Capiz, Island of Panav P.I. the little lade, Miss Martha de la Cruz, is the second child born in that family of five, 36 years height 32 inches, weight 25 pounds. Her brother Juan, 32 years of age, height 24 inches, weight 15 pounds. These little people have every joint, bone and muscles in their body the same as any normal person. They are very bright and intelligent, having mastered three of the dialects of the Philippine languages, namely Tagalog Visayan, Pampanga, Spanish and English, practically five distinct languages.

The parents were average sized Filipinos, also the other three children in that family. The midget man is married to an average sized Filipino woman, Gregoria Gabril, 21 years of age. They have a very pretty girl baby, Marla about 3 years of age which was of normal size and just as tall as her papa. The baby died in the town of Daytona, Florida, March 15th 1907.

The Filipino Midgets are the smallest living adults known to be alive (at the time) in the World. It is amazing to watch these time bits of humanity dance together, and the little man go through his acrobatic performance, which his brother, an average sized Pilipino furnishes the music.

Philippine Exhibits, Bronze Medal, medal given during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.


  1. Hey!
    I'm Amy-Elizabeth Manlapas and I am a historian working on some research about the Philippine exhibition at the 1904 Saint Louis World's Fair. I would really love to know your source for these scanned photographs - they're in beautiful condition and I would like to center a portion of my research on these specific photos. Please check out my blog, and let me know if you'd care to help me out! Thank you so much for sharing your interests on your blog - I've really enjoyed looking through it and it's actually given many ideas for my research.

    1. Hi Amy, Thanks for your comments. Sure I would like to help you on your research. Email me at

  2. Hi Sir/Mam,

    I used this entry as a reference for my blog post. I used it as a link so readers can check out your blog as well. Congratulations on your work!

    See the article here: