Male Ventriloquist Dummy

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Description (Brief)
This is one of three ventriloquist dummies that belonged to Frederick Lamb. This figure , made of wood and painted black, has a hand carved head with distinctly Negroid features, a hinged jaw, glass eyes and realistically carved hands and feet. . His body is made of a soft stuffing material and is manipulated through a hole in his back. It is unclear if Lamb actually made the figure or adapted it for his own use.
He is dressed in a child's reds jacket with a bow tie, cotton pants and is wearing a pair of children's leather lace up shoes and a kepie style cap..
Lamb, born in 1883 in Nashville, Tennessee began his career at 12, when he ran away from home and joined a carnival. He traveled with carnivals, side shows and circuses for almost 75 years.. He even performed for Queen Victoria.
.Lamb's talents included ventriloquism, magic, a Punch and Judy show, and a repertoire of black face comedy skits. .Lamb was exceptionally talented in that he was a double ventriloquist; he operated his dummies simultaneously and it appeared they were talking to each other and him at the same time. Later in life he traveled through Appalachia and coal mining communities in Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina to provide entertainment for children and adults living in remote areas.
Currently not on view
date made
Lamb, Frederick
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
leather (overall material)
overall: 37 in x 11 in x 4 1/4 in; 93.98 cm x 27.94 cm x 10.795 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Charles S. (Charlie) Lamb
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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