As we all know the head stick is the usual way controls are mounted to control a ventriloquist figure’s functions. There are all kinds of configurations and usually involves levers and in some cases such as those makers like Selberg and Alfaro small side to side rockers on the post but still lever for controlling the mouth. The McElroys also had levers to control the mouth and upper lip then the typewriter style keys for the other functions.
I just wanted to show everyone a completely different set up of controls which were utilized on a figure back in the 1920’s. I am not exactly sure of the maker of this figure but I think it could be made by Klingel. I have yet to find or see another set up like this.
The levers for the control are set up like four piano keys. Picture, if you will, you place your fingers palm down onto the control keys, each finger on a key. First finger presses down key one and it works the mouth, key two works side to side self centering eyes, third key makes the eyes blink and the fourth key make one eye wink.
There is a hinge on the front which allows the head to actually look down. The head stick has a hole in the bottom which rests on a peg in the bottom of the body. This gives the head stick 360 degree rotation. All in all a very different set up from anything else I have seen in the controls of a ventriloquist figure.
I hope you enjoy seeing this unique set up and if you know who for sure built this style please let me know.
Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2009 by Dan Willinger
NOTE: You may use this blog article provided you run it with the bio box intact. Please email a copy of your publication with the blog article in it to: firstname.lastname@example.org