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Major Mite

Major Mite

Major Mite
real photograph postcard, 5.5 x 3.5 inches, circa 1930
photographer: unknown


At the age of 22, Major Mite claimed a weight of 20 pounds and a height of 26 inches. No matter what his size, the major certainly was a snappy dresser.

Major Mite was actually Clarence Chesterfield Howerton, who was born in Salem, Oregon on 9 February 1913. The Major had quite an interesting cinematic career, including the role of jewel-swiping crook disguised as a baby in the early Our Gang short Free Eats (1932), and the coveted role of Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz (1939), where Mite was both "third trumpeter" and one of "the sleepyheads". Mite was apparently one of the smallest citizens of Munchkinland.

Howerton died in Salem on 18 November 1975.


Major Mite

Unidentified dwarf held aloft
real photograph postcard, 5.5 x 3.5 inches, circa 1930
photographer: unknown

The tiny fellow standing on this gentlemanís hand may also be the wee Major Mite, though the caption doesnít specify. This fellow is said to be 18 years old, 19 pounds 10 ounces, and 28 inches tall. If this is Major Mite, he maintained his weight over the following two years, but managed to lose two inches in height!

It was pretty standard sideshow procedure to claim little people were smaller, giants taller, and fat people heavier than they actually were. It should then come as no surprise that Major Miteís height would shrink as his fame increased.



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All Images and Text © James G. Mundie 2003 - 2010