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The Great Coram (and Ella Retford)

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Category: Music Hall
Reference No: 8781
Status: Available
Price: £15.00
   The Great Coram (and Ella Retford)

click on the small image to see a larger version


British ventriloquist, one of the greatest innovators of all time.

Born Thomas Whitaker, Coram made his debut in music hall in 1905 with his dummy, Jerry Fisher. He was highly creative and was the first to use electromagnetic devices to animate his figures. ”Jerry” could cry, wink, spit, smoke, blink, and even walk. With these innovations, Coram became the biggest vent star of his time and in 1928, he toured the US with an act employing a full stage set depicting the gates to St. James Palace.

Coram’s dummy, Jerry, became part of television history in 1925 when John Logie Baird used his head used in his early experiments to transmit a televised image between rooms in his laboratory at 22 Frith Street, London.

This is a fine vintage album page (4.25" x 3.25"). signed and dated (Coram, 1927) in black fountain pen ink, and with three further ink signatures of music hall stars added at later dates - Ella Retford (in 1931), Freddie Forbes (signing across a glossy sepia 2.5" x 1.5" photograph) and Scottish comedian Jock McKay (whimsically adding his birth year, 1880*).

(Interestingly, IMDB has McKay's birth year as 1879. Who to believe - IMDB or the man himself?)