Vintage Ventriloquism

3

Ventriloquism is an old stage act wherein the performer manipulates a dummy. Let’s learn more about this craft and see some vintage photos of performers and their dummies after the break.

Photo via Retronaut

Initially, ventriloquism was seen as a religious exercise. People believed that ventriloquists could converse with the dead. Others also thought that ventriloquists could foresee the future. For these reasons, it’s quite easy to see why the act was not received well by the Christians. It wasn’t after several years that ventriloquism was regarded as a form of entertainment.

Fred Russell, known as the Father of Modern Ventriloquism, was the first ventriloquist to use a sitting dummy for his act. He started performing in front of the public in 1882 as a hobby. After a few stints, he was offered to perform regularly at the Palace Theatre in London and from then on, his career as a ventriloquist blossomed. Some of the most notable ventriloquists today regard Fred Russell as one of their inspirations.

The art of ventriloquism is not easy. These performers must practice in order to hone their skill in ‘throwing their voice’. Controlling the dummy is hard enough and to add to that, they also have to voice the dummy without moving their mouths. Today, ventriloquism is still practiced and professionals perform comedic shows to showcase their talent. Some even use multiple dummies, each having a unique voice.

Here are some vintage photos of ventriloquists with their dummies:

Photoa via Retronaut

Information for this article was taken from Ventriloquism History and Wikipedia - Fred Russell.

written by jeanmendoza on 2011-12-09 in #lifestyle #photography #ventriloquist #ventriloquism #vintage #dummy #stage

3 Comments

  1. jawatembak
    jawatembak ·

    amazingly creepy.

  2. irvoneil
    irvoneil ·

    What finds! These are beautiful photographs of a most unusual and fascinating subject. Thanks for sharing them.

  3. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Those old dummies give me the creeps. <<shiver>>

More Interesting Articles

  • Artist Jennifer West Mounts Flashlight Filmstrip Projections in Ongoing Exhibit

    written by chooolss on 2014-09-27 in #news
    Artist Jennifer West Mounts Flashlight Filmstrip Projections in Ongoing Exhibit

    35mm and 70mm filmstrips take center stage in this fascinating cinematic installation by Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer West. Learn more about it after the jump!

  • Better Together Rumble Winners Announcement

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-07 in #world #competitions
    Better Together Rumble Winners Announcement

    Film swap is more than an act of physically exchanging rolls. It's all about two people celebrating their shared love for experimental photography!

    7
  • On Lomo'Instant Festival Tour with Berlin Sessions

    written by zonderbar on 2015-07-18 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    On Lomo'Instant Festival Tour with Berlin Sessions

    According to our latest LomoAmigos Berlin Sessions, there is one camera this summer which you always carry with you - our beloved Lomo'Instant! The camera is accompanying the crew of the Berlin-based video magazine on their acoustics sessions all over the city and on the hippest festivals in Germany. Learn more about Berlin Sessions and their Lomo'Instant festival tour in this exclusive interview!

  • Shop News

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Snap dazzling 35mm fisheye shots at the push of a button with this shimmery blue lightweight beauty.

  • Glastonbury As Seen Through the New Petzval 85 Lens by Taio Konishi

    written by ciscoswank on 2015-07-10 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    Glastonbury As Seen Through the New Petzval 85 Lens by Taio Konishi

    The Glastonbury Festival is arguably one of the most anticipated and renowned music festivals in the world. It is a joy to be able to watch it, and a privilege to capture scenes on and off stage. Apart from creating beautiful portraits, the Petzval Lens is great for adding an albeit subtle drama to the already spectacular scenes of music festivals. Japanese photographer Taio Konishi photographed this year's Glastonbury with a Petzval 85mm Lens, and here are some of the photos. He also talks about his Petzval-meets-Glastonbury experience in this exclusive.

    3
  • What Makes Agnès Varda a Triple Threat

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-03-13 in #world #lifestyle
    What Makes Agnès Varda a Triple Threat

    In this video, Varda talks about her three lives and the 60-year-old photos she did not think would see the light of day.

  • Complete the Puzzle of Treats With Festive Freebie Frenzy!

    written by shhquiet on 2014-11-17 in #news
    Complete the Puzzle of Treats With Festive Freebie Frenzy!

    Shopping for holiday presents? Drop by the Lomography Online Shop and we'll reward you with freebies! A minimum purchase of 50 EUR/USD/GBP gets you a special treat, and you get more treats as you climb up the spend levels. This festive offer ends on 23rd November, so act fast ... see more details after the cut!

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • My Year in Analogue: Something New, Something Old

    written by murdoc_niccals on 2014-12-15 in #lifestyle
    My Year in Analogue: Something New, Something Old

    Hi, everyone! I'd like to share with you my 2014 summary on analogue photography. Some things I did were completely new, while some were my good old habits. This year I learned how to develop black and white film, which I consider my greatest milestone. But the most important thing is that in 2014, I remain in love with Lomography! And the rest? Well, let's see...

    3
  • Light is Magical: A Talk With Li Hui

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-04-10 in #people #news #lifestyle
    Light is Magical: A Talk With Li Hui

    Photography is not only an act of documentation or communication, it is also a way of seeing the world. The camera opens our eyes and lets us see what lies behind the obvious, and we start looking at things as potential subjects of a photograph. Every leak of light unveils secrets that talented photographers turn into a piece of art. Li Hui is one of those gifted artists. We talked to her about her work and her sensitive photographs that picture a wonderful vulnerability.

    9
  • Photo of the Day by soldatojocker

    written by cheeo on 2014-11-24 in #news
    Photo of the Day by soldatojocker

    The eagerness in this photographer's eyes shows how passionate he is about perfecting his craft. Congratulations to soladtojocker for winning Photo of the Day!

    1
  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Vintage Snapshots of Outdoor Playtime

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-06-21 in #world #lifestyle
    Vintage Snapshots of Outdoor Playtime

    Some city-based parents feel wistful when they see their kids huddled in front of screens. There is nostalgia for tree climbing, hopscotch and bicycling. And why must children of today spend all their free time playing with zeroes and ones? This black and white gallery will inspire you to get the little ones out and about even just for the weekend.

    1
  • What We've Been Working on in the Last Few Weeks

    written by pan_dre on 2015-04-07 in #world #news
    What We've Been Working on in the Last Few Weeks

    Our new website is now about 2 months old. After rolling out the most important features in the beginning, we have now been fine tuning them and working on the overall performance of the website. Taking a step back, we now want to ask what you think about it!

    87
  • Fresh from My Darkroom: The First Game of the New Rugby Season

    written by sirio174 on 2014-10-15 in #lifestyle
    Fresh from My Darkroom: The First Game of the New Rugby Season

    Last Sunday, the local rugby team Rugby Como played the first match of the 2014-1025 season. Rugby is my favorite sport to photograph, and for some years I've been documenting almost every home match of this young team. This time I used a 1959 Zorki 5 camera with a vintage 1958 Industar-50 lens loaded with a timeless film, the Ilford HP5+ developed in a century-old developer, the mythical Rodinal. Take a look after the jump!

    2