- Actors who made a career of appearing in the innumerable productions of Uncle Tom's Cabin that toured the United States from its first performances in Troy, New York, in 1852 well into the 1930s were Tommers. These productions, often referred to as "Tom shows," were enduringly popular, but being called a "tommer" was tantamount to being called a ham.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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