Using the "Ventrilo"

Saturday I mentioned the "Ventrilo" sold by Johnson Smith Company.  The following is their vintage instruction on how the "Ventrilo" should be used (taken from The Art of Ventriloquism).
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The Ventrilo as an Aid to Ventriloquists
It will be pleasant when the wind is howling without, among the snow laden limbs of the trees, to be reminded of the gay summer by the counterfeit notes of the woodland songsters; or, wandering among the woods and fields in the spring or summer time, how glorious to challenge the feathered musicians to a contest of skill with you in their own sweet language.  This can be accomplished with a device called the "Ventrilo".

The way of using this instrument is to place it in the roof of the mouth, with the side on which is the membrane downwards; then place it gently in its place with the tongue, and blow between the tongue and the upper teeth.  After the fist two or three attempts, you will be able to produce a slight sound like a mild grunt; then as you practice it you will find you can prolong and vary the sound somewhat, so that in the course of a couple days you can imitate the barking of a dog and the neighing of a horse.

 With two or three weeks' practice you will be able to imitate some of the song birds; but, to produce exact counterfeits of the best singing birds, you will probably require months of study; the result, however, will reward you for all your pains, for certainly to be able to carry a mocking bird, canary, thrush and cat bird in your vest pocket, is no small accomplishment.

When not using the Ventrilo, it should be kept in a glass of water to prevent its drying. 

One of the ventriloquist's most interesting feats: "throwing" his voice over great distances.
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The above is a reprint of Chapter 7 from The Art of Ventriloquism, Johnson Smith Co and George W Callahan.  http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290640886646

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