1854 Key Facts
West (1783 - 1854) was a London
haberdasher but is much better known for inventing the toy
theatre. The idea grew from a sideline he began as an education
for children. He had sheets printed up showing characters from plays
that were running in London theatres at the time. He soon learned
that children were colouring in the sheets and cutting out the
characters to perform their own plays.
He took on the idea and began producing miniature theatres in a variety
of styles and the craze took off - becoming one of the most popular
pastimes of the Regency period.