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Featured Figures

Art Anteak


Champagne Charlie
Charlie McCarthy
Coram Head


Farmer's Wife



Hanley Head

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

Kenny Talk
Knucklhead Smiff

Lester Boy
Little Joe




Red Flannels


Selberg Boy
Shorty Jones
Skinny Hamilton

Tommy Baloney

Windsor Boy
Woody DeForest


Vent Haven Museum

Home  William S. Berger   ConVENTion  Multimedia Featured Figures FAQ

Featured Figure:
Coram Head


Created by: Ernest Crawford

Used by: Tom Coram

1. This head was used by Tom Coram, a well known British ventriloquist of the vaudeville era.
2. The head was purchased from Irish ventriloquist Navan O'Reilley, who was acting on behalf of Coram's widow.
3. The head arrived at Vent Haven in August of 1946. It was badly damaged, with several cracks (visible in the photo to the left) in the face.
4. Berger wrote letters to both O'Reilley and the U.S. Department of Customs complaining about the condition of the head.
5. O'Reilley wrote back that "It was in good order when it left here."
6. The U.S. Customs Department wrote that, "Our records show that the head was never removed from the box and that it was securely fastened when the package was forwarded on to Covington (Kentucky) in the same condition as it was when placed in the box by the shipper...Outside of a few small pieces of paper machie (sic) chipped from the face it appeared in good condition." The letter then goes on to suggest that Berger lodge his complaint with the Covington, Kentucky Postmaster.
7. Fault for the damage was never determined. However, O'Reilley refunded Berger slightly more than 1/3 of the original purchase price. O'Reilley stated in his letters that the refund was of little consequence to him as he was giving all money after shipping expenses to Coram's widow, but that Coram's widow was upset and felt she had been taken advantage of.
8. Both Berger and O'Reilley agreed to accept the other at their word and to not let this "unfortunate deal" ruin their friendship. They continued to correspond until O'Reilley's death in 1952.
9. When Berger placed this figure on display at Vent Haven, he placed a sign under the head that read, "A COLLECTORS HEADACHE
Used by the Famous Coram
Arrived from England Broken"

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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