William Wood, World’s Greatest Ventriloquist circa 1900-1910


We received an email from Alan Cook (www.puppetrymuseum.org ) with information and photos about vaudeville ventriloquist William Wood. Here’s what he sent:

I just unpacked one of the William Wood heads from longtime storage. This guy had a flipping wig. Damaged by seawater. One of several heads washed ashore in Gulf of Mexico, after successful tour in Mexico.

The boat he and daughter were on experienced a severe storm not seen by other ships. All his money disappeared along with two bodies, himself and daughter. Jay Marshall clued me in on this info. Got the heads from Sydney Brockman, Seattle, 1968.





Alan Wood

Thanks Alan for sending this in and sharing with us.


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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: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com

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6 Responses to William Wood, World’s Greatest Ventriloquist circa 1900-1910

  1. LeeDean says:

    Beautiful old figure, and very sad story. Thanks for the information. I am going to enter that Arlyn Award Society competition on advanced level puppetry, which is the second article on the puppetmuseum website.

  2. LeeDean says:

    A fine old figure with a very long neck.

  3. bill corrie says:

    just saw a story on mysteries at the museum tonight,10/24/13 which stated that mr. wood and daughter were on the way to mexico not coming from there, when their deaths occurred . i wonder which is really correct? show said he was in a big hurry to go mexico for a tour but no ship was available except old tug boat. there was some talk of murder for money and or for magicians secrets to sold for profit but no one was ever charged.

  4. Carol Garland says:

    I was watching Mysteries at the Museum Collection, on Netflix, chapter 2, Episode 16, “Death of William Wood”. It gives a great deal of detail about William Wood.

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