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April 17, 2013

Albert Einstein Holding an Albert Einstein Puppet, 1931

This photo of Albert Einstein holding a marionette version of himself is pretty awesome, as is the wonderful anecdote that accompanies it.

Harry Burnett, one of the three famous Yale Puppeteers, took this photo in 1931 at Cal Tech in Pasadena, CA, where Einstein was teaching. It was during this period that the Yale Puppeteers were working in their theatre, El Teatro Torito, on Olvera Street in Los Angeles, CA. That was where Einstein saw his puppet likeness perform and he was quite amused:
“He reached into his jacket’s breast pocket, pulled out a letter and crumpled it up. Speaking in German, he said, “The puppet wasn’t fat enough!” He laughed and stuffed the crumpled letter up under the smock to give the puppet a fatter belly. This is a wonderful photograph that Harry treasured. Harry Burnett also kept the letter in a frame and loved to retell the story and at the end give his pixish [sic] laugh.”


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