William Lewis decided on a dancing career after seeing the Frisco Kid perform in the early 1920s. He began in vaudeville with
the group, Sunshowers, and later with a travelling minstrel show. His wife Elsie studied Russian ballet and tap dancing. The
collection consists of photographs, theater programs, and ephemera relating to the vaudeville careers of William and Elsie
Lewis, and to vaudeville in America in the 1920s.
William Lewis was born in Providence, Rhode Island; he decided on a dancing career after seeing the Frisco Kid perform in
the early 1920s; began in vaudeville with the group, Sunshowers, and later with a travelling minstrel show; his wife Elsie
studied Russian ballet and tap dancing; danced at Capital Music Hall in New York with the the Chester Hale Girls; William
and Elsie joined a touring group, Gobs of joy; after 1932, William Lewis returned to Rhode Island and opened a dancing school;
after their baby was born, Lewis danced and served as an MC throughout the state; after the U.S. became involved in World
War II, he took a job in an ammunitions factory; continued to do MC work until 1960, after which he continued to perform in
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