[Ads-l] Oscar origin redux (UNCLASSIFIED)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Feb 20 01:01:32 UTC 2019

Great. Thanks for investigating the topic of ventriloquist dummies,
Bill. I also found some matches for Oscar. Here is the earliest I saw:

Date: July 17, 1924
Newspaper: The Shreveport Times
Newspaper Location: Shreveport, Louisiana
Article: City Briefs
Quote Page 12, Column 7
Database: Newspapers.com
[Begin excerpt]
Vaudeville will be an added attraction at the Boy Scout show in
Princess park Wednesday night. Jim Airey, ventriloquist, and his
dummy, "Oscar, the Wooden-Headed Irish Boy," will be features.
[End excerpt]

Starting in 1935 there were many pieces about a dummy named "Oscar"
that was used by the FBI for crime scene demonstrations. This date was
after the first use of "Oscar" as a name for an Academy Award;
however, that definition may not have been widely-known in 1935. So,
this use of "Oscar" for a "crime scene dummy" might be independent.

Date: March 25, 1935
Newspaper: The Boston Globe
Newspaper Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Article: "Shooting" of Oscar Too Realistic for Stenographer
Author: Associated Press
Quote Page 4, Column 7
Database: Newspapers.com
[Begin excerpt]
Oscar is the dummy used by rookie Federal agents at practice
demonstrations. The agents were bending over Oscar, who was posing as
a murdered man.
[End excerpt]


On Tue, Feb 19, 2019 at 5:38 PM MULLINS, WILLIAM D (Bill) CIV USARMY
<0000099bab68be9a-dmarc-request at listserv.uga.edu> wrote:
> >
> > In 1931 an article mentioned that a ventriloquist dummy was named Oscar.
> >
> > Date: October 9, 1931
> > Newspaper: Lubbock Morning Avalanche
> > Newspaper Location: Lubbock, Texas
> > Article: Oscar Talked His Boss Out Of Jail:
> > Bright "Cracks" Of Dummy Win Police Chief's Favor; As A Result, Oscar And His Buddies Are Free Once More Quote Page 12, Column 6 and 7
> > Database: Newspapers.com
> >
> > [Begin excerpt]
> > Somewhere — outside of Lubbock—there is a ventriloquist's dummy this morning who believed he talked his boss and his boss' buddy out of
> > the city jail. . . .
> > Oscar, the dummy, was along but he was left outside. Wednesday afternoon, Oscar entertained visitors to the chief's office by
> > impersonating the commander of the local police.
> > [End excerpt]
>  Both Albert F. Hansen and Betty Hansen (his daughter) of Oakland CA were ventriloquists who performed with "Oscar, the walking-talking dummy" in the early 1930s.
> The Londonderry Wizard, R. S. Bailey, moved to San Francisco in 1934.  He performed with "Oscar the talkative dummy".
> Grady Nicholson of Stillwater OK performed with "Oscar the Dummy" at a magic show in 1930.
> Revello Petee published a vent script in _The Tops_ (conjuring journal) in 1936, in which the script assumes the dummy's name is Oscar.
> Ventriloquist George McAthy of Coraopolis PA performed with a dummy named Oscar in 1936.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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