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Vern Martelle scrapbooks
2003-25  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Vern Martelle was a female impersonator whose fifty-year career began in vaudeville; his act was built around lip-synching, which he claimed to have invented, as well as up to twenty-five costume changes per performance. This collection is composed of two of Martelle's scrapbooks, which contain clippings, photographs and ephemera.
Background
Vern Martelle (sometimes Verne Martell) was a female impersonator who performed in Europe, North Africa (USO during World War II), Las Vegas, Seattle (Garden of Allah Club), San Francisco (Finocchio's), and other locales. He enjoyed a fifty-year career – which began in vaudeville, and incorporated occasional modeling and Hollywood stunt work – and claimed to have been the first drag performer to lip-synch on stage. His act featured lip-synch and up to twenty-five costume changes per performance. In 1951, he was billed as “The man with a thousand voices and a thousand gowns.”
Extent
.25 linear feet
Restrictions
Copyright to material has not been transferred to the GLBT Historical Society. All requests for reproductions and/or permission to publish or quote from material must be submitted in writing to the GLBT Historical Society Archivist. Permission for reproductions and/or permission to publish or quote from material is given on behalf of the GLBT Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Availability
Collection is open for research.