ventriloquist's dummy ('Douglas')

Catalogue number
  • EPH 3863
Department
Exhibits
Display status
IWM London
Materials
  • Case: metal
  • Case: leather
  • Case: textile
  • Dummy: plastic
  • Dummy: glass
  • Dummy: leather
  • Dummy: textile
  • Dummy: cardboard
  • whole: wood
  • whole: metal
  • whole: paper
Dimensions
  • Dummy(laid On Back): Height 790 mm
  • whole: Depth 170 mm, Width 260 mm
Alternative names
  • full name: ventriloquist's dummy ('Douglas')
  • simple name: PRO
Category
souvenirs and ephemera

© IWM (EPH 3863)

Purchase & License
Physical description

dummy, case and framed service postcard ventriloquist's dummy in rectangular brown leather suitcase, the dummy has painted papier mache hands and head and is wearing a grey fabric suit with brown leather shoes. Note the hole in the case which was made by shrapnel from a German artillery shell.

History note

'Douglas' used by Arthur Langley Harden in his ventriloquist act to entertain the troops when he served with the Royal Artillery during the First World War. The hole in the case was made by shrapnel from a German artillery shell. He was apparently attached to a colonel's staff and he stated 'I reckon that doll saved my life -the Colonel enjoyed him so much that he prevented my posting elsewhere and mildly discouraged me from taking the offer of going for a commission.' The dummy was possibly named after Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, the British Commander-in-Chief.

Associated people and organisations
Associated themes

IWM Non Commercial Licence

The media for this item are free to reuse for non-commercial purposes under the IWM Non Commercial Licence. Video, sound and images can be embedded with the code we offer here, and images can also be downloaded.

By downloading any images or embedding any media, you agree to the terms and conditions of the IWM Non Commercial Licence, including your use of the attribution statement specified by IWM. For this item, that is: © IWM (EPH 3863)

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