Created by: Louis Grannat
Used by: W.S. Berger
1. Tommy Baloney is the first figure that
W.S. Berger, founder of
Vent Haven Museum, ever owned.
2. Tommy was purchased by Berger in 1910 while Berger, then a
youthful 32 year old, was on a business trip in New York City.
3. While on that business trip, Berger saw a performance by
Harry "The Great" Lester, and this performance peaked his
interest in ventriloquism and persuaded him to purchase this figure
to try ventriloquism for himself.
4. After a short time, Berger's interest wore off. Tommy was put
away and almost forgotten about until Christmas of 1930, when Berger
got him back out and used him to perform at a Christmas party at his
factory. It was at this point that Berger began his ventriloquial
collection in earnest.
5. Berger occasionally spelled the figure's last name as "Bologna,"
but usually spelled it "Baloney."
6. Tommy was one of Berger's favorite four figures. As such, he has
a place of honor in the collection along with the other three figures.
They are displayed together in Building One
of the museum, and are not visible on any of the Quicktime Virtual
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.