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Featured Figures

Art Anteak

Billy

Cecil
Champagne Charlie
Charlie McCarthy
Cleo
Clyde
Coach
Coram Head

Elmer

Farfel
Farmer's Wife

George
George
Granny

Gutters

Hanley Head

Jacko
Jane Jones
Jerry
Jerry J. Jerrie
Jerry O'Brien
Jerry O'Leary
Joe Flip
Joe Nemo
Johnny
Johnny Jordan
Junior
Junior

Kenny Talk
Knucklhead Smiff

Lester Boy
Little Joe

Maisie
Max

Oscar

Quitz

Reagan
Red Flannels

Rosita

Sammy
Selberg Boy
Shorty Jones
Skinny Hamilton

Terry
Tommy Baloney

Windsor Boy
Woody DeForest

 

Vent Haven Museum

Home  William S. Berger   ConVENTion  Multimedia Featured Figures FAQ

Featured Figure:
Quitz

 

Date Created: Circa 1930

Created by: Ken Spencer

Used by: L.E. Gerde

Trivia: 
1. Quitz is a walking figure used by vent L.E. Gerde (1875-1953).
2. Gerde was inspired to become a ventriloquist after seeing a vent perform when he was nine years old. The vent imitated a human voice, a bumble bee, and a cat. According to Gerde, "Then and there I said to myself I would try to learn the art, so whenever I was alone, would try to make the sounds as he had given."
3. In a 1945 autobiographical essay, Gerde wrote, "Am now using a walking figure which I shall give Ken Spencer credit for making; have been using it for many years, and it is still strong and healthy."
4. Berger acquired the figure from Gerde's widow in 1953.
5. Nine years later, Berger began to wonder whether Ken Spencer was actually the figuremaker for Quitz. He wrote a letter to Spencer, to which Spencer replied: "Yes, I made the figure used by L.E. Gerdes (sic)--He saw me using it in 1935 or so and he wanted it--Gave me $75 for it--It was the first walking figure I ever made, straight legs, I believe, no bend in the knees--made the legs up in a motorcycle shop in Sioux City Iowa in 1930 or so."
6. Quitz can be seen in Quicktime Virtual Pan Number One. After the page loads, turn slightly to the right. Quitz can be seen standing just to the left of the decorative plant.
7. Since this Quicktime Pan was made in 2005, Quitz has been moved to the left side of Building Two.

Do you have additional information about this figure? Do you have a suggestion for a future Figure of the Month? Is there a figure maker whose work you would like to see featured? Let us know by emailing the Vent Haven staff.

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