She said she wanted to be taller...
He owned the stretching apparatus once used by the magician Howard Thurston.
Stretching a Woman with Phyllis Diller
Mr. Kirkham normally stretched his wife Phyllis. Here he is on the 1950s TV show "You Asked For It", with host Art Baker, before he refurbished the stage illusion to look more modern.
Stretching a Woman on "You Asked For It"
The magician Carter the Great had also performed the illusion, calling it "The Elongated Maiden", a "baffling Chinese mystery":
A pretty Chinese girl tied to a torture rack, without seeming discomfort, apparently permits her head and limbs to be stretched yards away from their natural positions.