Early McElroy

 

Ventriloquist figures produced by the McElroy brothers are far and few between because they produced so few of them. At present there are only around 30 known to exist, although it is said by some that they may have made upwards of 100 dummies.

This particular example is one of their earliest having been made around 1937. This is the vent figure that was pictured in the Abbott's Catalogue #4 of that same year. I have pictures of that catalogue also for you to see. This model was made in 2 versions the Standard which had only 3 movements, slot jaw, sneer and floating eyebrows or the Deluxe model that had 13 functions. The dummy you see here is a very special one because it had to have been custom ordered because it is in the middle to the two styles listed in the catalogue. My figure has the following functions,slot jaw, upper lip sneer ( smile), floating eyes side to side, eyes look, eyes look down, eyes can cross, floating eyebrows, left eye winks and also pulls down the left eyebrow at the same time. That is a total of 8 functions.

This particular McElroy dummy was purchased directly from The MElroys at Abbott's Magic Factory by one of Abbott's wood workers , who made magical apparatus. His name was Lyman Hugg. He owned this figure from 1937 until he sold it to the second owner in 1961.

The second owner was a ventriloquist playing in a traveling carny show and the show was playing in Michigan near Colon , where Mr. Hugg worked. Mr Hugg went to the show and saw the ventriloquist performing and after the show he went and found the performer, Floyd Bradbury, and asked him if he would be interested in an old ventriloquist dummy that he owned. Floyd said he would be interested and when Mr Hugg opened the case Floyd immediately said yes and forked over the princely sum of $150.00 for his new friend. Remember this was 1961 and $150.00 was a ton of money to most at that time.


Mr Bradbury used this ventriloquist figure from 1961 until 2001 when he retired. From then until now it was packed away in a closet until I found out that Mr Bradbury was interested in selling him. We negotiated for some time and now the McElroy is a part of my ever expanding ventriloquist figure collection. I hope you enjoy looking at him!!.