Frank Marshall Figure made for Canfield Smith

canfield smith dummy

I did try to find out some information on the vent from Philadelphia Pa. but had no replies to any of my postings from anyone so this is the information I was able to find out and it comes from Stanley Burns book Other voices.

Canfield Smith was a performer in the late 1940’s and 1950’s and was what Stanley Burns labeled as a “Cod Performer” and that is a performer that was a comedian who discovered that mis copying can be lucrative. Canfield Smith made audiences laugh with his standard figure whose arm would drop off in the middle of a routine, with Smith seemingly indifferent to his companion’s plight.

The dummy finally complained, “Hey! Canfield….There’s a draft in here. Is there a carpenter in the house?” Canfield played the Palace as well as club dates after vaudeville.

This figure you are looking at was signed inside on the back of the mouth palate made by Frank Marshall for Canfield Smith Phila. Frank also signed it in 3 other places and it also has his card pasted inside too.

When I acquired this figure is was in dire need of restoration and it had been severely abused but after a superb job he now is a wonderful example of Franks early 1950’s work.

This figure has side to side self centering eyes, his right eye winks and of course slot jaw. A very fine figure that once belonged to a Pennsylvania performer. I am still hoping that someone reading this will be able to shed some more light on Canfield Smith.

Please contact me with any information you may have.

For more on this Frank Marshall Figure made for Canfield Smith


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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One Response to Frank Marshall Figure made for Canfield Smith

  1. Joan Alexander says:

    Canfield was married to my mother’s cousin, Marion and they regularly came over to Scotland and visited us in Glasgow, where Canfield played in theatres, such as the King’s. We always went to see him and I well recall Snodgrass, having had an argument with Canfield, saying, “my girlfriend Joanie’s out there in the audience. Her dad’s a butcher, so we’re going to get a string of sausages and run away together.”

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