Vera Crackles

Out of all of the cards that were sent to Harry Mars, these cards stuck out at me the most. They are from a girl named Vera Crackles. (I originally thought that her name was Vena (or Vema) Cockles because of how elaborate her handwriting was on the cards.) First off, let me say how absolutely beautiful she is! When I initially did my research on her, I was shocked that there was NOTHING on this beautiful lady. Which was pretty upsetting because I thought for sure she was someone who stayed in Vaudeville. 

It wasn’t until this past week that a man from one of the Vaudeville forums that I belong to, tipped me off that she was married to a Frank Vardon, from Vardon, Perry and Wilber. (You don’t know how excited I was to learn this information, because I’ve been wondering about this lovely lady for years, and what her life was like!) 

With that new information, I discovered that Vera was born in 1893 in Lambeth England to a William and Elizabeth Crackles. I’m not sure when she started doing Vaudeville, but it appears that she was still doing Vaudeville in 1911, as a census for that time shows her living at 46 Thornton Street, Brixton, England, and it says that her brother, Cecil, is her manager, and she was a singer. It also showed that Ruby Maybutt (She also went by Ruby Butt) from my aunt’s vaudeville cards for the bathing girls, was also living with Vera at the time as a guest. 

It was then when I looked up Vardon, Perry and Wilber, and I spotted Vera right away in the images on this website by muscian and book author Gregg Miner. You can see his collection here.

It appears that when she joined Vardon’s group, along with two other women, they changed their name to the Rag-Time 6. When I did a quick newspaper search for her and Frank, I also discovered that sometime around the late 1920’s, they must of split off from the group and they went by “Frank and Vera Vardon”. They were doing several skits. One with character impersonations and another one called “Hillbillies from Ozark.”

Since I am early on in my research on Vera’s new information, I’ll be updating this page as I do my further research on her, Frank and his group “Vardon, Perry and Wilber”. Please check back soon!

3 thoughts on “Vera Crackles

  1. I knew Vera Crackles Vardon in the 1960s. She was one of my grandmother’s churchgoing friends; she lived in El Monte, Calif., near my grandmother’s house. There seemed to be a small community of ex-vaudevillians in that part of El Monte; I believe the Hickman brothers, who did minstrel shows, lived just a few doors away from Vera. As a young boy I had heard stories that she had been an actress, but I had assumed it was in the movies. She was a very flamboyant character, and tended to live in mobile homes. She and Frank apparently pioneered that “trend” by living in their own mobile home park on Temple Street in downtown L.A. (That was well before I was born). Somewhere I may have a photo of my grandmother, Dorothy Burrell, with Vera, from the 1970s. If you are interested let me know.

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