Site Counter

View My Stats

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Hello! The ConVENTion Group Photo taken by David Crone is now available online at the Convention website. Go to Click on the first NewsFlash. Webmaster Bryan Sweasy has included three different resolutions, one for web viewing, one for printing and a higher resolution for better printing. Instructions are included. Enjoy!Annie Roberts
I have copied it to post here for all to see..Annie and gang your all doing a great job there....keep up the great work.

William Shakespeare 'WS' Berger creator of Venthaven Museum and Library...On October 1963, the schoolroom, the Josephine Berger Memorial Building, today known as Building 3, was dedicated and 10 years later was open to the public. Building 1, the WS Berger Memorial Building, completed in 1973, and on hand to dedicate the opening were Edgar Bergen and Jimmy Nelson, amongst others, to entertain on a flat bed truck in front of the building. After the dedication, the museum was open to the public so that the attendees can view his extensive collection. Susan DeFalise, the first curator of the museum, led the guests on the tour. Building 1 houses amongst their collection some of the more recognized ventriloquist figures such as Wayland Flowers' Madame, Jimmy Nelson's Danny O'Day and Farfel, Paul Winchell's Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff, as well as Edgar Bergen's Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd.

Edgar Bergen, known as the father of modern ventriloquism, was taught by the great Lester, a vaudevillian ventriloquist, who became known as the grandfather of modern-day ventriloquism who went on to teach ventriloquism after his performing years, and this is where Edgar Bergen first meets the great Lester. The collection housed in Venthaven began becaus of the inspiration WS got from the great Lester.

Other interests at the museum are Frank Marshall, who I'll go on to talk about more in detail, Jules Vernon, the McElroys, and other makers of vent figures (Dummymakers, puppetmakers, etc.)

WS Berger was born in 1878 in Cincinnati and at the age of 69 he retired from Cambridge Tile Company, a company where he began as a mail-room clerk and worked his way up to president.

He was president of the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists for 20 years between 1940 and 1960, bringing the membership up from 300 at the time of his inception as president to over 1000 when he retired in that office. He also published the Oracle, a newsletter that informed the vent community of the events throughout the year. Due to the fact that he outlived his wife and children, he feared that his extensive collection would be broken up and dispersed, he sought assistance as to how he could keep his extensive collection together, voila Venthaven. It is the only museum in the world of its kind, housing over 700 figures, 1000s of pictures, playbills, books, etc., with over 1000 guests each year. From the museum sprang the Venthaven conVENTion. To read more about the Venthaven conVENTion please go to their website, and to read more on the museum itself, go to their website.

No comments: