A Fairy's Debut
Illustrator Roy Best's interpretation of Peter & Tink
On the crisp evening of December 27th, 1904, at the Duke of York Theatre in London, the world was introduced to a darting flash of light as the cantankerous sidekick of a boy who wouldn't grow up. Tinker Bell, the world's most famous fairy debuted in J.M. Barrie's timeless play, Peter Pan.
Originally called "Tippytoe," her name was inspired by the habit of young Michael Llewelyn-Davies' waiving his foot. Thanks to the constant cue-ing of a tin tinker's bell as the primary 'voice' of the tiny character, Peter's fairy friend was renamed to Tinker Bell.
Since the first performance of the play, the name "Jenny" or "Jane Wren" appears in the playbill as the credit for the role of Tinker Bell. One of many 'inside jokes,' Barrie added the name of Miss Wren to support the believability of his tiny fairy. Five years into the play's highly successful run, the ruse was a complete success (much to Barrie's delight), when the cast members received tax assessments for the British government...including "Miss Wren."