Theodore Mack Control Levers

First thing I want to say is if you have any questions concerning anything about any type of antique figure remember I am always willing to share what ever information I may have. That being said I have been chatting with a few concerning the Mack figures bodies, head sticks and control levers.

I have already posted pictures of what an original Mack body looks like with the control stick going straight through the shoulder board and attaching to the bottom board. This is the design that the Macks offered on their figures.

The controls offered were almost always with a ring pull. This may sound strange to us today because we are all use to the lever style controls but the early American figures used the ring pull. I currently own eight Mack figures and only a couple of them have the lever control and those are from the late part of the Mack run. I have pictured this style of lever because I believe it is unique to the Mack figures. The first one has the lever still on the long head stick but the second has the original lever on the head stick which was shortened and converted to ball and socket by Madame Pinxy.

The levers are thin but then terminate with a broad size to accommodate the pad of your thumb or finger. This is actually very comfortable and I am not sure why this design wasn’t continued with Frank Marshall but he did continue to use the rosewood for the chop stick style he fabricated.

MVC-016S MVC-017S MVC-018S


I hope this helps answer some questions concerning these early wonderful ventriloquist figures.



Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. His collection of ventriloquist figures now numbers over 100 figures of which there are over 50 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:

Copyright 2009 by Dan Willinger

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2 Responses to Theodore Mack Control Levers

  1. Lee Dean says:

    The family of Mack is the bridge from the past to the future. There will never be another Marshall and he is no longer. While he was he had no apprentice to safekeep his secrets, and nothing but speculation to try to reverse engineer a Marshall figure. I respect his work but fact remains he is gone. Who will be the next and greater than he. There has to be one, else to say there will never be another is a death knell to the art. Petee who came from a family of figure makers finally said he took his hat off to him, but who would Marshall have said that to, other than McElroys when he said he Marshall will have to get out of the business, but jokingly only. Someday there will be someone to take his place and make a great line of puppets and Marshall were he alive would say that and really mean it.

  2. Wanlu says:

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for posting those pictures…they look great!

    I noticed the string the Macks used…that’s the exact type of string on my Mack’s winker lever but the one on the mouth lever has been replaced several times by Mr Schaibley.

    Your blog rocks!!!


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