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Dickens & Dave
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Those of you who look at Clinton's blog saw this picture already yesterday, it's a picture of an Insull figure Greg Claassen acquired and had restored by Alan Semok, but I think it is one of the best figure posing pictures I've ever seen;

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Here are a couple feeble attempts I've made at figure posing pics in the past (though nowhere near as good as the Claassen picture);

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But I love pictures with figures posing in a lifelike, like they are doing something way, so if anyone else has any they've taken, or pics of someone else's figure posing like that they have saved, I would enjoy seeing them, hopefully, others would too.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Vegasvent
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Photos set-up this way definitely add to the "Illusion" that the figures are real. Bergen was a master of promotion for his figures. He even held Charlie"s hand in several photos to give the illusion of walking.
Magical Phil-Kidzshow, LLC

"My Wife says that either all of my Stuff goes, or she does......" "Boy, I'm sure gonna miss her cookin'."
Dickens & Dave
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Yes, here's one of those pictures from a 1938 Popular Mechanics magazine;

Image
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"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
KeithS
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Hi blueshawk,

Although I have nothing to add to your OP, I'm curious about your figure holding the guitar. Can you share a little about its maker, history, etc?

Thanks!
Dickens & Dave
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Hi Keith,
Well here is what I know;
The figure was carved in 1975 by R.J. Scott (Bob Scott).
I don't have to worry about forgetting that because there's a note written in the bottom of the body to someone who's name I will never recall without looking, and Scott signed and dated it. The person I bought the figure from was the son of the person the figure was made for, I think I recall him telling me his father was not a vent, he was just a friend of Scott's. I'm guessing either his friend wanted one just because, or Scott just wanted to give his friend something he made.
I've tried to find out more about Bob Scott and find pictures of other figures he made, but have had little luck. The most I've found out from one person is that he carved a number of figures, all considered to be very nice, and then just disappeared from the scene.
This figure BTW, has just moving mouth and eyes and a handshaker.
That's everything I know.
BTW, if you're wondering about the character I've created for him, his name is Paul M. Dickens, he's the 6th never before ever heard of Beatle, who got kicked out of the band early on due to the other Paul being jealous that this Paul was better looking than him. Smile
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
KeithS
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Hi blueshawk,

Thanks for the info! I'm always fascinated by the history of vent figures. Love the character you gave him. I'm wondering if Bob Scott is the same guy who sold figures through Louis Tannen's Magic Store in NYC. When I first got into vent around '78, I sent away for every single piece of vent info I could find, and I remember receiving a flier from Tannen's with 3 or 4 dummies advertised. I believe they were built by a maker named Scott. One thing I remember is that one could order the figures made from either basswood or sugar pine. As a 4th grader, I was fascinated by that, and I asked my art teacher what wood would be better for a dummy, and I recall him saying that sugar pine would probably be easier to carve. I bet Alan Semok or Dan Willinger could probably tell us more about Bob Scott.

Interesting stuff!
Servante
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Now that I know how to work my camera, I should take pictures of my vent figures. THEN I've just gotta figure out how to get 'em onto my 'puter.

I know what you mean about mysterious vent carvers. There was a guy who lived around the corner when I was a kid. He had kids, too, and we got to talking and they told me their dad made vent figures. Since I was a kid ventriloquist, this was the most interesting information I'd had in a long time. We went to their house. He had several hand-carved figures, and gave me a small head he'd carved. About the size of a softball. Still got it. I didn't bother to get his name...didn't know the kids that well at the time...and often wonder where he is, where his vent figures are, and who he was. May never know. I DO know that one of his figures had an odd eyebrow raising and lowering mechanism with the wire on the OUTSIDE of the head, wrapped around the head from just above each ear, painted to match the skin, to which the eyebrows were affixed in the appropriate places. I'd never seen this before, and promptly built a hand puppet with the same mechanism.

-Philip
Dickens & Dave
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When you take your pictures, (and figure out how to post them), you should include that one, maybe someone will recognize the style of the figure and tell you who it was.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Servante
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Just might. It originally had yellow yarn hair, which is since gone...and it had no eyes, so I glued in marbles from the inside and painted 'em. It had a fairly chunky head stick, which is also gone. I built a small body for it and made it a leprechaun for awhile when I was about...eleven or twelve...but it was too small to read from a stage.

-Philip
Dickens & Dave
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Well, even after all of that, it might still be recognizable if it was someone who made a fair number of figures.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Servante
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Could've just been a hobbyist. Dunno. But I DO know he wasn't a ventriloquist, and I DID see three or four figures. Who knows?

-Philip
Dickens & Dave
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Quote:
On 2011-09-10 11:09, KeithS wrote:
Thanks for the info! I'm always fascinated by the history of vent figures. Love the character you gave him. I'm wondering if Bob Scott is the same guy who sold figures through Louis Tannen's Magic Store in NYC. When I first got into vent around '78, I sent away for every single piece of vent info I could find, and I remember receiving a flier from Tannen's with 3 or 4 dummies advertised. I believe they were built by a maker named Scott.
I bet Alan Semok or Dan Willinger could probably tell us more about Bob Scott.

I totally missed your post until now - that's what happens when you click on "GO" on the first page and don't scroll up a bit and look.
Anyway, I've asked Tom Ladshaw about him, he said he was going to look and see what he could dig up in his files, I was mostly looking for pictures of some other figures of Scotts. I should ask Alan, maybe he's even had one come through his shop at one time or another.
The character - yes, as soon as I got him, that character came immediately to mind with that mop top hairdo and the blazer....there it was, I knew what he had to be, maybe that's what was intended.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
KeithS
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Yes, Tom is another excellent resource. If there is anything out there about this maker, Tom, Alan, and/or Dan will know. Keep us posted on what you find out.

Thanks!
TheDummyDoctor
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Hi All...
Folks wer asking about Bob Scott...Bob was a fairly regular fixture at the early Vent Haven ConVENTions. His sons Bobby & Tommy (?) were both vents (as well as rather prolific child actors, appearing in a number of TV commercials for various products in the 1970's).

Bob made a number of figures during that time, all carved from wood (the late Cecil Carpenter most notably used a Scott figure).
It does seem that Bob drifted away from dummymaking after a time and as someone pointed out, a few of his figures did make their way through my studio in the 80's & 90's for minor repairs and touch-ups. I assume that the figures came to me on the assumption that Bob was no longer active and that the owners had no way of reaching him.

However, not too many years ago (perhaps 5 or 6) I received an email out of the blue from Bob writing to say hello after he stumbled on my website. It was quite the surprise, considering I hadn't seen Bob at a conVENTion since at least the early 80's. He sounded quite happy in retirement.
I've had no further contact with him since then...but who knows...he may be lurking in the forums somewhere! ;-)
cheers,all...
-------

Alan Semok, Ph.D (honoris causa)

THE DUMMY DOCTOR

Building Pro Vent Figures since 1966

web: www.AlanSemok.com/dummies
Dickens & Dave
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Hi Alan and thank you!
That's more information than I've been able to find out about the maker of that figure.
I might have to start hunting down some pictures of Cecil Carpenter, I'd like to see another figure he made.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
KeithS
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I knew Alan would know! Thank you, sir.

I remember seeing Cecil Carpenter perform at a ConVENTion in the early '80's. He had me rolling on the floor with his fractured retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Hilarious. His figure, if I recall correctly, was named Alex.
Dickens & Dave
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To kind of get this thread back on track, here's sort of a posing pic - not quite the same, but close, or as close as I could find quickly at the moment.
The vent is Tommy Atkins at Storytown in NY, circa sometime in the '60s (and I believe the first "live" ventriloquist I ever saw).

Image
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Dickens & Dave
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Here's another Tommy Atkins photo, the figures aren't really posing by themselves like I was thinking about when I started this thread, but they seem so "natural" sitting there in this picture;

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And they look kind of "natural" in this picture too;

Image
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
marshalldoll
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Nice pictures of Tommy Atkins. She used all Foy Brown figures in her act. A fellow vent and magician Bob Carroll ended up with her whole act and over the past few years has sold it off.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Dickens & Dave
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I've got a bunch of her pictures, someone has been selling sets on ebay, from the name of the seller, I'm guessing that's who is selling them. If he lives in Mass., then that's undoubtedly who it is.
The devil is, I'm betting I had a chance to get them the same place he did, but didn't find out until too late. Not too long before we left New York, I saw an article in the paper about a family member of the cowboy guy she performed with at Gaslight Village (I forget his name as I type this) selling off a bunch of stuff of his, and they also had a bunch of her stuff. It wasn't that far from me either, about half an hour, but like I said, I didn't find out until too late.
And yes, all the pictures I've seen of her have been with Brown figures. I'd love to buy that one Kenny Warren has had on ebay. I can't use a girl figure, and I don't like using figures as small as that one either, I would just like to get it to have one of her figures, but that ain't happening either unless I win the PCH sweepstakes (and I don't think I'll be holding my breath for that either).
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
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