Pantages Manipulator of Little Figures Won’t Tell Mystery.
Dressed in a blue smock, busily crocheting Mrs. Lillian
Jewell owner and chief manipulator of “Jewell’s Manikins,”
greeted me in a dressing room of the Pantages theater.
“Well, well,” she said with a smile, “so you want to hear
about the manikins. I’ve been in the business since I was a
child, and my father before me but I don’t know whether I
can tell you much.
father was a showman and invented this type of figure. I
started in to help him when I was 12 years old. After we
had the little people setting right, we went over to
continental Europe and toured for eight years. I think we
played before all the royalty in Europe. Of course they had
lots of kings there on those days.
LONG IN U.S.
“After my father died, I carried on the business with my
husband, and I’ve been in America a long time, now.”
“How do you make the manikins act so natural.” I asked.
“Ah! You would like to know, would you? So would a great
many other people. The secret of how they work in something
I guard very carefully. I make all their clothing myself
and my son John and I do all the repairing. We have never
made any images. Those we have now are the ones my father
made years ago. We have to lay off road work about two
months a year to renovate the little people.
“We have toured the world with our act,
visiting South Africa, Australia and all sorts of places.
In Capetown, years ago, I remember that the Hindus there
thought the images were alive and that I was some sort of