Thanks to Cookie Jensen for adopting Willie Nibs. Willie was made by George "Pinxy" Larsen and belonged to ventriloquist and magician Nick Tomei.
This figure was Nick's second dummy of at least four that he reported to Vent Haven founder, W.S. Berger.
Here is Nick's account of Willie Nibs in a letter to Mr. Berger dated February 10, 1957...
"I've been interested in vent for many years but I never really had the time to practice like a good vent should. I had a very old dummy and it wasn't very interesting; it was made out of paper. In 1942 I decided to get myself a new dummy and really take up vent work seriously. The Pinxys sold me a new dummy, that is, I had it made. I took it home and really was going to do a lot of practicing, but Uncle Sam wouldn't let me. I spent almost four years in the Navy. I had Willie out of the suitcase only once. Now that I am out and on my own maybe I'll be able to devote more time to practicing. So, you see, I am really only a beginner."
Nick was a member of International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists and corresponded with Mr. Berger for many years. Nick died October 13, 2005, at the age of 92, and Willie Nibs was donated in Tomei's name at the 2006 ConVENTion. Visitors can see Willie Nibs sitting with other Pinxy dummies in the Josephine Berger Memorial Building.