The Ventriloquist’s Doll

Hey, it’s October, which means it’s time for a solid month of pumpkin-spice IP. This blog got its unofficial start last October when I started spamming my Facebook friends with spooky patents, before I moved to this more stately venue. To start us off right, take a look at this monstrosity:

An unclothed ventriloquist's dummy. There is a doll head and on a cylindrical body. The body is cut away to expose wire machinery to let the ventriloquist move the arms and legs.
USP 2,771,708, FIG. 1

This invention deals with a serious problem in the field of… ventriloquy? Ventriloquism? Anyway, at the time all of the R&D money had gone into making the mouth move, but little attention had been given to lifelike movement of the arms and legs. All those rods and wires and springs let the ventriloquist flop the arms and legs around using just a single hand.

Of course, this view is intended to show the inner workings. In actual use, you would dress the thing up in a little suit, like this:

The same doll, but wearing a suit. A little less creepy, but only a little.
USP 2,771,708, FIG. 11

The inventor, Morton Enison, was apparently dedicated to his craft, but his patent for a hand puppet thankfully steered clear of the uncanny valley. I unfortunately can’t find anything else about him, other than his date of birth, date of death, and social security number.

Anyway, enjoy this gothest of festive seasons!

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