Located in an unsuspecting neighborhood in Fort Mitchell, right off of Dixie Highway, Vent Haven opened in 1973 after a long-time, colorful beginning.
The museum's founder, William Shakespeare Berger, bought his first dummy in New York City in 1910. He wasn't a ventriloquist, just a lover of Vaudeville. Since 1930, dummies began to fill the Berger household, taking over the bedrooms, the dining room, and eventually spilling out into the garage.
|Christmas dinner at the Berger household, dummies included.|
|Tommy Baloney, Mr. Berger's first dummy.|
|Portrait of Mr. Berger with animated mouth and eyes.|
Berger passed away in 1972 with a collection of over 500 dummies. His property was put into a charitable foundation and dedicated as a three-building museum the following year. The only ventriloquist museum in the world, this institution receives 1,200 guests a year.
|Can you find me?|
|Trying out my ventriloquist skills.|
With wall-to-wall figures and thousands of photographs, there is a favorite for everyone at Vent Haven. From modern plush puppets to the oldest wooden dummy dating back to 1820, this museum really does have it all.
|The museum's oldest dummy, dating back to 1820.|
|This 1800s dummy was made with glass eyes, human hair, and real teeth. |
You could obtain such supplies from the local barber.
|Walking dummies. Just pump their arm and they walked along side of you.|
|A walking dummy in action.|
|Our guide, Jen, shows us how this walking dummy transforms into a clock.|
|These dummies were found in a trunk that washed ashore after the ventriloquist died in a tragic ship accident.|
|Jen explains how a dummy moves by buttons and levers made from ordinary household products.|
|Mr. Berger with a chart teaching about how to speak without moving your lips.|
|An Abraham Lincoln that looks nothing like Abraham Lincoln.|
|A dummy for every stereotype.|
|A dummy that is a mug.|
|Bull from Night Court|
|This dummy has moving eyes, eyebrows, ears, lips, nose, teeth, and surprise hair.|