Thanks to Jeremy Lepak for adopting Johnny. Made by George and Glenn McElroy of Harrison, Ohio, Johnny was used by ventriloquist and magician George Pullin. Mr. Pullin gave Johnny to Mr. Berger in exchange for an Insull figure and $25. Johnny joined the Vent Haven collection on August 23, 1951.
Johnny's features are many: winking, moving eyebrows, a light up nose, a stick out tongue, a moving upper lip, and moving eyes to name just some. He arrived in a McElroy case with the original directions from the McElroy brothers about how to change the light bulb and batteries in the head. This figure has been repaired twice; once by Frank Marshall and once by Cecil Gough.
George Pullin was quite and interesting character and his correspondence file with Mr. Berger is substantial. Pullin was born in 1885. His careers included elevator operator, railroad brakeman, milk salesman, hotel operator, private policeman, cook, and restaurant manager. He was influenced by the magic of Keller, and wrote about Keller's trick of growing oranges and roses on stage and then throwing them to the audience, "I thought that if I could learn to do that I'd make a million dollars."