Fortson’s Funny Ventriloquist Figures

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I received the following email and pictures from John Lee:

Dear Dan,
I wanted to share with you this colorful lithograph promoting a ventriloquist named, William Petty Fortson in 1910. It’s kind of creepy-cool. I found it yesterday and purchased it from a store owner who bought it last week from Mr. Fortson’s grand daughter who lives nearby.

William Fortson was a vaudeville musician, magician and ventriloquist from Little Rock, Arkansas. The lithograph poster had been laying flat in a closet with some boxes on top of it so the condition is superb and the colors are absolutely vivid! It’s 20″x30″. It’s a wonderful piece of history by Donaldson Litho Co. who produced posters for circus troupes, vaudeville shows and performers. I think it’s great!
John Lee

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John, thanks for sharing this with us at Ventriloquist Central.


Have you seen the Frank Marshall Tribute DVD, click here


Ventriloquist Central is the brainchild of Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst. Dan 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. Steve is a ventriloquist as well as builder of ventriloquist figures. He also has a background in sales, marketing, building websites and computers. Because they both love the art of ventriloquism, the website Ventriloquist Central was born. For more information about the website, go to:

Copyright 2014 by Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst

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4 Responses to Fortson’s Funny Ventriloquist Figures

  1. Austin Phillips says:

    Great stuff! What an awesome lithograph. It would be great to see photographs William too. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Austin Phillips says:

    I found this image on, they also have a small, but good write-up about William.

  3. eeteed says:

    much thanks to John Lee for sharing the image, and thanks to Austin Phillips for some great detective work!

  4. Great stuff! Thanks to John Lee for sharing. The figures are definitely “funny ventriloquial figures.”

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