Thanks to Jenna Caraway

Thank you today to Jenna Caraway for adopting the nurse dummy. This five foot tall dummy's head is made of papier-mâché and she is built to be disguised as a grandfather clock. She has four panels that fold up to hide her upper body and head. The nurse was made around the turn of the 20th century and she was used by ventriloquist John A. Kelly. Mr. Kelly eventually gave the dummy to his son, Nelson Kelly, who was also a ventriloquist. Nelson Kelly's widow sold the dummy to Mr. Berger in October of 1963 for $50.00. The nurse is demonstrated on most tours and visitors are always amazed by the ingenious disguise of the clock panels. You can see the nurse on exhibit in the main building at V

Samuel and Farfel

Many thanks to Samuel Snell for adopting Farfel. This iconic character was donated to Vent Haven Museum on July 2, 1982, by Farfel's owner, stage partner, and Dean of American Ventriloquists, Jimmy Nelson. There is no way to overstate Jimmy Nelson's contributions to the ventriloquism community or to Vent Haven Museum. He is incredibly kind, humble, funny, and generous to everyone he meets. He has been a member of the Vent Haven Museum Board of Advisors since its inception and just this year was given the title of Director Emeritus by the Board of Directors. The vast majority of the tourists who visit Vent Haven recognize Farfel, and many of them even spontaneously start singing the Nestlé

Cheryl & Edith

Today I'm thanking Cheryl Ollila for adopting Edith at last year's convention. This beautiful little girl dummy was featured in a "Favorite Figures" video series that Vent Haven Director Annie Roberts produced for the museum. Here you can see former Vent Haven curator, Jen Dawson, as she describes Edith's history and why Edith is her favorite! (skip to 0:29 for the segment on Edith)

Herschel & Hedda

Thanks to Herschel Rosner for adopting Hedda Wood. What a beauty this Frank Marshall figure is! Mr. Berger bought her directly from Frank for $50.00 in 1932. Hedda Wood has a winking mechanism and a smoking feature. Although Mr. Berger got his first dummy in 1910, the collecting bug didn't bite him until 1932 when he purchased Hedda Wood and three other dummies. The outfit that she wears was from Pinxy in August of 1937. Hedda Wood sits in the Josephine Berger Memorial Building. Check out these great photos from the archives that include Hedda Wood...

Bo & Dinah

Many thanks to Bo Hamada for adopting Dinah at the 2017 convention. After seeing a lengthy article on Vent Haven in a 1953 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, ventriloquist Frank Hauer's widow contacted Mr. Berger to see if he was interested in Hauer's dummies for the collection. Mrs. Hauer sent them to Vent Haven in September of that year. Frank Hauer performed in medicine shows until his death in 1950 at age 74. Hauer used Dinah for about 45 years, but, according to his widow, he was not the first owner. Dinah was made in the workshop of Theo Mack & Son in Chicago. Tourists can see Dinah on exhibit in the Josephine Berger Memorial Building.

Thanks to Sandy Gallaway

Thanks today to Sandy Gallaway for adopting Barney O'Shay. This dummy was made by J.C. Turner and was used by Jim Mortensen. Jim donated Barney to Vent Haven on May 31, 2013. He had previously sold two others of his dummies to Mr. Berger. In the donation documentation, Jim states that he performed with Barney at Kiwanis clubs, festivals, resorts, universities, parties, etc. He also reports that he paid $35 for this little guy in 1950. Jim learned ventriloquism watching Señor Wences in the 1947 movie, Mother Wore Tights. Today, tourists can see Barney on display in the main building.

Bob Baker & Red Flannels

Thanks to Bob Baker for adopting Red Flannels. Red Flannels was used by Terry Bennett and donated by Bennett's family at the Vent Haven Convention in 1992. Terry Bennett (1930-1977) began doing ventriloquism at age 10. His first professional figure (also called Red Flannels) was made by J.C. Turner. Bennett toured with the USO entertaining those in the military. Eventually he appeared on Arthur Godfrey's TV shows as well as Kate Smith's. From 1954-1963, Terry and his wife Joy, along with this Red Flannels and other dummies and puppets, appeared on the show The Jobblewocky Place. Bennett had other TV shows and was also the program director for WPIX TV in New York. He and his wife had t

Thank you to Glenn & Marianne Taylor

Thanks to Glenn & Marianne Taylor for adopting Rickie-Tik. Mr. Berger bought this sweet little dummy from ventriloquist Peter Rich in July of 1964. Peter Rich (1921-2005) and Mr. Berger corresponded from 1938 until Mr. Berger's death in 1972. In one of their first letters, Mr. Berger states that he had just 11 dummies and that he was interested in exchanging scripts with Peter. Frank Marshall made the 30 inch Rickie-Tik dummy as part of his catalog of standard figures (see ad below). This particular dummy had been repainted by someone other than Frank when Peter sold it to W.S. In 1975, Ray Guyll repaired the mechanism and repainted the figure.

Thanks to Megan Ollila!

Thanks to Megan Ollila for adopting Woodrow last summer. Woodrow was made in 2000 by Vent Haven Museum advisor Alan Semok. This sweet little dummy was used by Adrien Brody in the 1992 movie, Dummy. Not only did Alan make the dummy for the film, he also appears in the movie. Of Woodrow's history, Alan Semok wrote, "The dummy's name is never once mentioned in the film...in fact, officially, he had no name. The name "Woodrow" only came about 3 years later when the film got its official premiere. I called him "Woodrow" because I figured that he needed a name for his red carpet appearance..." Woodrow was donated to Vent Haven on December 5, 2013, by Dr. Bruce Beyer. Dr. Beyer donated the fig

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Fort Mitchell, KY 41011
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