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Carl Jacobsen with his large Jacobsen Theatre. 

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Carl Jacobsen


My full name is Carl Wilhelm Jacobsen, but I have no relations in the history of Toy Theater, though I did have a great uncle who traveled with a magic act. . . but we don't talk about him!

I am an Artist/Illustrator, trained at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, and my studio in Solvang was a school for all ages.

I particularly enjoyed working with children, and yes I did teach them how to make their own toy theaters. The older students made theater set designs.

Our home for the past 25 years was Solvang, California (the Danish capitol of America), but now we have retired and moved to the little town of Buellton just 3 miles west of Solvang.

Moving to Solvang  in 1968, I met a Danish house painter who had a small shop in his garage. Lining the walls were many antique model theaters, and in large drawers he had piled untold number of sets, and boxes of figures, all in various stages of development. He had the hobby since a child in Denmark.

Well, I got started, and he helped me by giving me some of his extra sheets. We then ordered more from Denmark and the collection grew!  Then about 2 years ago he began battling Leukemia, and he slowly faded out of all his past interests. I kept eyeing the little shed, as his sons began clearing out stuff so they could move in.

So one day I asked what was to happen with his theaters, and he replied "oh they will probably go to the dump, for the boys don't care about that stuff, and my wife just calls them "paper dolls". I couldn't ask for such a gift, so I offered to buy the collection for a small price, and to promise him they would be cared for. You know he told me he offered the collection to Solvang's Danish Museum, and they refused the offer! How stupid can people get? The most Danish thing in the town, and they said they didn't have room for it. Oh well, we know where they belong, don't we?

About the theaters I have; there are 2 more like mine, one is expertly mounted and built with an ornate paneled base that has Poul Palmer's initials painted on each side, the second has been salvaged and is only the front, then I believe I have one or two mint Sheets. I have a completed "A" size one with a drawer full of sets in its base. It has a very nice curtain crank made of wood, as do all of Poul's. He was an expert Ship Modeller as well and made some fine pulleys for the curtains. Then I have an Italian theater with a number of sets, and a Urantia theater.  I have a Tivoli Theater with all sets and figures that I built, and last but not least 2 large wood theaters of my own design that I like to think of as "The Super Model Theater Sound Stage"!  This one I have been developing since I first saw Poul's theaters. It is a new generation theater for dimensional sets and figures.   Many of the sets, and figures that I have are perfectly mounted, cut, and many with stand blocks. A large number are mounted but not yet cut, and then I have about an inch thick stack of sheets. All in all, a mountain of work to be done and sorted out.
 
Jacobsen theatre, side view.
This theater is one of the extra I have. It's probably the best. I took out the lights( a total nightmare that would never work, but I kept the stuff)  My lighting design works much better, and is much simpler.
Jacibsen theater, front view.
 
Drecula scene in Carl Jacobsen original Super Theatre.
 
 

The Dracula set is my work from scratch, and of course it is in one of my Super Theaters! But that's only if I pressed the right buttons!