When it comes to the Rolls Royce of ventriloquist figures everyone agrees that The McElroys were the best and first to create these works of art but I was just sent in this great ad on learning ventriloquism and if you look at this ad (see link below), which was published in August of 1934 , you will see a figure with a similar set up of the controls for multiple movements of the figures to what the McElroy Brothers created. If I am not mistaken the brothers first ad for their figures was in the Abbott’s catalogue of 1937 and they show their first sale of a figure to Robert Wedertz. His figure was made in 1936 which is 2 years following this advertisement.
I remember that on ebay about 2 years ago someone from Germany was selling a figure that was in need of repair but it had this same style handle and control box as you see pictured here. I did in fact bid on it but was not the buyer. I now wish I had been because I thought it was not original and was done by someone trying to copy the McElroys. I just may have been wrong.
There was a German manufacturer of Magic named Klingel and to date I only know of one figure made by them and it is currently in a magic collector’s collection and it has multiple functions but it does not have this style handle.
Is there anyone out there , reading this blog, that can identify the maker of this early style controlled figure?
Click Here for the “Learning Ventriloquism” Ad
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I think the ventriloquist featured in this article may be paul edgar rieck, known as “the great edgar”. Vent haven owns several of his figures, most notably joe nemo, made in 1934. The figure works with a system similar to the Mcelroys and has fright wig, weighted and light-up eyes, wiggling ears, etc. It could also walk, pick up a cigarette from a box and smoke through his nostrils. Some documentation here:
and this video, at around 2,16 minutes:
I think the ventriloquist featured in this article may be paul edgar rieck, aka “the great edgar”. Vent haven owns several of his figures, most notably joe nemo, made in 1934. It was a complex figure, working with a system similar to the one used by the Mcelroys.
and video here, joe nemo is demonstrated at around 2.16: