|Frank Marshall (
Marzalkiewicz ) lived from March 9,1900 to October 10, 1969. The
Mack & Son Woodworking Shop opened at 720 S. Clinton Ave in Chicago
, Illinois in 1880. Their main line of business was architectural
wood carvings and model making for ornate door frames, room moldings
and signs. Two brothers, Theodore and Louis came with their father,
Daniel Mack from Plymouth Massachusetts in that year to set up their
shop. Later, Theodore's son, Charles joined in part time to
supplement his income from his Tavern around the corner on Harrison
Street. Charles also carved puppets as a side line .
Around the turn of the century, the Great Lester (Marian Czajkowski)
came to the Macks for help in making a new figure and when word of
this got out, the Macks found themselves with many customers looking
for ventriloquail figures.
Not long after this, a neighbor of the Great Lester's son, who had
been stricken with polio, was brought to the Mack's shop by Lester.
This 13 year old, Frank Marzalkiewicz, was given a job as a means of
rehabilitation. The boy later changed his name to Frank Marshall. As
years passed and Frank's apprenticeship was completed, the Macks
turned over nearly all the puppet work to Frank, while they
concentrated on the ornamental work.
Louis Mack passed away on Oct. 12, 1921. He was never much involved
with the puppet business. In November of that year another
woodcarver , Alex Cameron was hired for the ornamental & pattern
shop. Many times Alex and Frank would help each other with their
various jobs. In January 1922, Theodore Mack was placed in a Nursing
Home due to chronic hepatitis and senility. He died on April 24,
1923. With the two brothers gone, Frank and Alex were left to run
the shop, as Charles had to concentrate on his tavern & restaurant.
Frank and Alex would handle the puppets & minor carving pieces and
Charles would work on the major ornamental pieces. His son, Daniel,
would occasionally work at the shop. Charles Mack died on June 4,
1924. Frank And Alex soon after bought the business from Charles'
Frank and Alex moved the business to 67 W. Ohio Street and did
mostly puppet work. Three years later, Frank took over the shop
which was located at 53 W. Erie Street. From around 1931 to 1938
Frank had his shop at 837 N. State Street. From there he moved to a
two flat ( apartment ) building at 5518 S. Loomis Street. He resided
on the 1st floor and rented out the second floor residence to
tenants. His shop was in the basement. From 1950 to 1954 Frank had
his workshop in an office building in the heart of the"loop" , the
center of the theatrical area , in downtown Chicago. From 1954 until
his death, Frank worked from his home at 5518 S. Loomis.
Over the many years thousands of
figures were turned out by the Macks & Marshall, the most famous
figures were produced by Frank Marshall who continually kept
refining and improving his vent figures. These figures are treasured
by collectors and professionals