1945 advertisement from Philadelphia Toboggan Co. announcing that post-war production of funhouse figures would be resumed, although it is doubtful that this ever occured.
  An examination of existing Laffing Sal figures rev-
eals paper strip layup in the torso regions which were concealed by the clothing. But the head and hands are much more smoothly detailed, leading to speculation that their prod-
uction may be of another method, possibly a comp-
osition that OKC sometimes used called "Kingite", a mixture of rosin, cornstarch and other fillers.In the latter part of the Victor Dog prod-
uction period,
OKC began making castings in rubber, specifically a latex compound containing a clay filler which was poured into plaster molds in a process similar to casting ceramics.
The major element that brought Sal to life was her unique laughing movement.The mechanism which animated the department store Santa figure was re-employed for Sal. There were two basic movements: the torso moving incrementally forward then pulling back upright, and the waving of the arms.

For these actions two cams were used. The cams were mounted on the single shaft of a Boston Gear 75:1 gear reduction unit which was driven by a 1/4 hp electric motor concealed in the hip region. A cam-pawl follower rode the underside of each cam and linked to the upper-body torso for the rocking motion. A longer connector extended to a shaft in the shoulder area to which the arms were fastened. These cams were cut in an undulating pattern from 1/4 inch fiberboard, probably to avoid excessive wear or flattening of the steel cam pawl rollers. Rotating approximately once every eight seconds and usually running during the entire time the park was open, these cams wore down rapidly and needed frequent replacement. When such maintenance was not observed, the worn cams provided a more subdued level of animation. At right, Laffing Sal showing mechanisms.
(William Luca collection)

Coil springs also played a large role in Sal's movements. 2-inch diameter springs held the hands to the forearms. Large 5-inch diameter coils joined the arms at the elbows, and a similar 5-inch spring supported the head. Even her breasts were suspended by springs to provide a jiggling effect as she laughed. Later in production, three or four one-inch coil springs were substituted for the larger head spring.

75:1 gear reduction unit was made by Boston Gear and driven by a 1/4 hp motor. The cam followers were linked to the torso frame and the shoulder shaft to which the arms were attached. Shown is the early style mechanism. Toward the end of production, the
mechanism was some-what simplified; a
different gear reducer with its cam-shaft exending through either side was employed and the bow-type followers were eventually replaced with 1/4 steel bar stock.

(William Luca collection)

Continued on next page