BALTIMORE'S MAGICAL HISTORY

1787 Friday, December 3rd at the Old Theater!
 FALCONI 
Falconi in fact, spoke five languages fluently and would entertain French soldiers stationed in Baltimore and elsewhere along the east coast.
On May 16, 1908 at the Ford’s Theatre in Baltimore, after Thurston had performed with him on his farewell tour, Kellar passed his magician’s wand to Thurston.

 1908: From the Baltimore Sun "CARRIAGE RIDE ANYONE?"
1908: A fantastical depiction of that historic night at the Ford's Theater...




A MAGICAL DYNASTY
Ford's Grand Opera House or Theater was a major music venue in Baltimore, located between Lexington and Marion Streets, just east of Eutaw St. It was founded by theatre manager John T. Ford (also the owner of Ford's Theater in Washington DC) and designed by architect James J. Gifford. The opera house opened to the public on October 2, 1871 with a show that included readings from Shakespeare's 'As You Like It' as well as vocal and orchestral performances.
The opera house was later the site of  Horace Greely's nomination as the Liberal Republican party candidate for the 1872 Presidential Election.

1916 HOUDINI in BALTIMORE  
Charles Street, Baltimore
April 26, 1916:
Over 500,000 people gathered in front of the Sun Building to watch Harry Houdini hang upside-down, 50 feet above the ground, for the two and a half minutes it took for him to escape from a straitjacket.



1916 THOMAS WORTHINGTON III 
from the cover of SPHINX magazine, May, 1916
1918: THE DEMON'S ORIGINAL CLUBHOUSE 

It was the fall of 1911 when America's first magic "union," The Society of Baltimore Magicians had disbanded.  Arthur D. Gans, Thomas C. Worthington III and a few others however decided to form a stronger union among magicians.  The Demons Club was inaugurated on December 7, 1911 at Gan's home in Roland Park.
The first elected officials of The Demons Club were Frank P. Knight and Charles Ziegler, President and Vice President respectively. It was Zeigler who in fact came up with the name, The Demons Club. Early meetings were held at Lafayette Hall and at members home.
Arch Demon Supreme Harry Kellar
Honorary Arch Demon Supreme Howard Thurston
Arch Demon Thomas C. Worthington Jr
 Vice Arch Demon Charles Fulton Oursler
and Demon Scribe and Treasury Imp Louis Smith

On the stage of the Demons’ Club there have appeared HARRY BLACKSTONE SR., JOHN CALVERT, HOUDINI, THEO BAMBERG, HOWARD THURSTON, ALEXANDER (the man who knows), HARRY HOUDINI, BLACKSTONE, DANTE, HENRY RIDGELY EVANS (author of History of Conjuring), and many other celebrities.

    In those days, if you asked a magician in Buenos Aires, London, Paris or Alexandria if he knew of the Demon’s Club, the answer would probably have been “yes”. They were the second oldest magicians club in the world and the only magicians club owning its own club house, meeting twice monthly.  The Demon's club would also have an open house two or three times a year, welcoming all to visit.

 
Henry Ridgely Evans
 (1861-1949) was an American writer and amateur magician.
Evans worked in Baltimore  as a journalist and wrote books on conjurer tricks and magic. He was a critic of spiritualism and theosophy, exposing the fraudulent tricks of mediums. He specialized in the history of magic.
Evans studied law at the University of Maryland, and began a practice in Baltimore City, but soon abandoned the legal profession for journalism. He worked for "The Evening News," "Day," and "Times" of Baltimore.

   1923: On December 13, 1923  an unusual banquet organized by Arthur Gans and the B&O raliroad in the
“Martha Washington” diner and club car at Mount Royal Station
The tickets said “KELTHURMA”  the name derived  from Kellar/Thurston/magic
That is of course Phil Thomas at the back, left of the doorway.
1923 THOMAS C.WORTHINGTON III 
BALTIMORE'S LEADING MAGICIAN

 1923: The Society of Osiris Magicians 
was formed officially on April 6 by Worthington
http://www.geniimagazine.com/magicpedia/Society_of_Osiris_Magicians


At his home in Baltimore, Worthington had one of the largest and most valuable collections of rare magical apparatus in the world which, just prior to his death. he gave to the Ringling Brothers' Museum in Sarasota, Florida.





1926 ARTHUR D. GANS
Pictured here from the cover of Linking Ring Vol 4, No. 1 (1926) Gans served as a Safety Agent for the 'Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company,' was a charter member of  the Society of Baltimore Magicians and the Demons Club of Baltimore which later became the SAM Kellar Thurston Assembly No. 6.


JOHN ECK
John "Johnny Eck" Eckhardt, Jr. was born as one of two twins on August 27, 1911, at his parents' home in Baltimore. Though healthy, Eck was born with no lower half. Despite his lack of legs, Eck lived a full life as a sideshow performer, artist, photographer, magician, puppeteer, swimmer, gymnast, actor, train conductor and traveler.
Perhaps best known for his role as "the half-man" in Tod Browning's film Freaks (1932), Eck later achieved worldwide fame as Robert Ripley's "most remarkable man alive" and traveled throughout the United States and Canada, performing with his brother, Robert, until the late 50s. After they phased out their traveling show and arcade, the brothers continued their screen painting and limited their performances to local events. They spent their entire lives together living in the home in which they were born.

 1937 Frank Chapman 
was the first magician televised in Maryland
1938: THE DEMON CLUB 
(left to right) Woben Smith, George Most, Ed Yeyl, "Imp" Smith, Harry Watkins, Seymour Ziegler and Joe Bruno.
  In those days, if you asked a magician in Buenos Aires, London, Paris or Alexandria if he knew of the Demon’s Club, the answer would probably have been “yes”. They were the second oldest magicians club in the world and the only magicians club owning its own club house. In those days the club met twice monthly and hosted a biannual open house.


  
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Baltimore's Pyramid Magic Club run by a City College teacher,
Ernest B. "Fes" Marx
"You had to be interested in magic. But what you didn't know was that you were being tested by your attendance. If you missed more than one week, you would not be admitted." - George Goebel on Marx's Pyramid Magic Club


1932: The Pyramid Magic Club luncheon
(Standing) Bob Tilford, Edward Feete, Ernest Marx and George Eomer.
(Seated) Phil Thomas, Somerset Waters, Howard Thurston, Milbourne Christopher and
J. Allen DeLauney

 
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1938  PHIL THOMAS opened YOGI MAGIC MART "THE MECCA FOR MAGICIANS"
at 215 N. CHARLES ST
He stayed at this location for 29 years until the building was sold in 1967.

 Learn more about Phil Thomas right here...
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/p/phil-thomas.html 
 Phil Thomas's show ran for six years in Baltimore and over 300 episodes.

MILBOURNE CHRISTOPHER
1961 GENII MAGAZINE  BALTIMORE'S
MOST SUCCESSFUL MAGICIAN
Learn more about Milbourne Christopher here...
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_21.html 

 1966 McCARL ROBERTS
  Reverend McCarl Roberts met his wife Betty when she was in high school and he was in college where he and his sister performed a popular magic act. When his sister married, he needed a new assistant. The first candidate for the job was Betty Bremker. The business relationship bloomed into romance and they were married in 1956, while she was in college and he was in seminary.
 1968 George Goebel
on the cover of TOPS
looking every bit the magician.
LEARN MORE ABOUT GEORGE GOEBEL HERE
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/p/george-goebel.html 
 Jack & Patti Gaylin

 VIN CAREY 
(1898-1975) Also known as 'Carini' the magician and 'Vino the Clown' 'owned the magic store 'The American Magic Co.', for 20 years on Franklintown Rd.
He served as president of the Demons Club was founder of the International Juggler's Association.
 HEN FETSCH
Henry "Hen" Fetsch was a well known magic inventor and best friends of both Milbourne Christopher and Phil Thomas.
Learn more about Hen Fetsch right here...
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/2013/12/henry-hen-fetsch.html 
1967: BOB McCALLISTER 
on the set of WONDERAMA Bob was a magic enthusiast and would frequent YOGI MAGIC MART


 BOB TILFORD
"The Baltimore Ring 179's Annual Crab Feast" in 1971. George Dency offering a birthday cake to ring president Bob Tilford. 
"The Gentleman on the right is Bob Tilford! Called "The Dean" of the Yogi Magic Club. I had the pleasure of working with Bob at Yogi & Main Street Magic. I was blessed to be the one that Bob gave all of his "Notes" to, about tricks that he either improved or invented!! An Extremely nice man!!" - Kevin D. Kirtley

Learn more about Bob Tilford right here...
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/2013/12/bob-dean-tilford.html 

 

1973 MIL & PHIL  The two both lived on Patterson Park Avenue
and met when Phil was 10 and Mil 8 yrs old.
1973 DANTINI 
 MOVIE POSTER for 'DANTINI THE MAGNIFICENT'
Learn more about Dantini here...
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_2.html
 Don Driver standing on the barge from which he will leap.

1976: DON DRIVER 
'THE DEATH DEFYING MR. D'
On Friday September 19th 1975, Don Driver leaped into Baltimore's Inner Harbor bound and chained! Don surfaced 45 seconds later free of his chains. What makes it even more dangerous is that this was before mayor Shaefer cleaned the Harbor up! You can see the Trade Center in the background on the right and The Constellation behind Dantini.
Learn more about Don Driver here...
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/p/don-driver_30.html 
Peabody Book Shop where Dantini performed magic at 10 pm nearly every night for years, followed by Don Driver.
1977: KOHL & CO. 
 Dick Kohlhafer at Grossinger's.  
The only photo of Dick performing with his late his late wife Kathy.

Learn more about Kohl & Co. right here... 
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/2013/08/kohl-company.html

 
 A young KEVIN KIRTLEY
See more of Kevin Kirltey here...
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/p/kevin-kirtley.html
 1977: PHIL THOMAS 
in the burnt remains of YOGI MAGIC MART


Though a native a New York, the legendary card master
Howie Schwarzman 
has lived in Baltimore for many years and can sometimes be seen at Denny & Lee's Magic Studio. Schwarzman wrote a recurring article in 'Magic Manuscript' magazine called "I've Said It Before."

1985 GEORGE GOEBEL
Raeke, Wayne
( c. 1934 - 1998)
Born James W. Raeke, Wayne Raeke was a member of the Baltimore, Maryland Yogi Magic club and part of the Baltimore magic scene through the 60's & 70's.

 1986 KEVIN KIRTLEY & DAVID COPPERFIELD

1989 MARK WALKER
PUNCH & JUDY SHOW

LEARN MORE ABOUT MARK WALKER HERE
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_6108.html 

JAMES TAYLOR
The world's foremost authority on the sideshow.
Learn more about James Taylor here...
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/2013/12/james-taylor.html 



 WALT HUDSON, JAMES TAYLOR  &  master sword-swallower DAI ANDREWS
DAI'S WEBSITE
http://www.swordswallower.com/



WALT HUSDON 
doing the famous SPIDORA PITCH

Learn more about Walt Hudson here...
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/2013/12/walt-hudson.html


MAGICIAN, JAZZ VIRTUOSO AND WORLD CLASS CHESS EXPERT...
 CHARLES COVINGTON
Learn more about Charles Covington here...
http://themagicofbaltimore.blogspot.com/2013/12/charles-covington.html 

DENNY HANEY
being his usual fun-loving self!




2009 JACK GAYLIN & MARK WALKER 
at DANTINI'S plaque on Broadway St


2009 DAI ANDREWS 
at Pimlico race track breaking the World Record for swallowing a 120 degree angled sword!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k6jFivKLgE 

 ILLUSIONS 
IN FEDERAL HILL
(formerly Ken Zo's YOGI MAGIC MART)
The stomping ground for master magician Spencer Horsman.
SEE MORE OF ILLUSIONS BAR HERE
http://illusionsmagicbar.com/ 
 DENNY HANEY 
after receiving his MILBOURNE CHRISTOPHER AWARD.
With WILLIAM V. RAUSHCER
 KEVIN KIRTLEY & ROYAL PARKER! 
A meeting of two Baltimore legends.
"Today I had the privilege to perform for someone who all made us laugh, when we were children, on local TV in Baltimore, Md. in the early 1960's. As children, we'll remember him as P.W.Doodle, but, our parents will remember him as one of "The Best" Newsmen in Maryland. He broke the JFK Assassination story, in Maryland. Mr. Royal Parker!!!"
Howard Schwarzman, Denny Haney, Don Driver

Mike Schirmer, Don Driver & Denny Hanney.
Mr. Shrimer was once the resident magician at the Baltimore Playboy Club and is winner of the 1982 the Magicians' Alliance of Eastern States William H. Endlich Award.

2010  McCarl Robert, Goerge Goebel 
& Mark Walker 
 interviewed by William V. Rauscher
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmg8rXDqQtY







2 comments:

  1. Today i received they sad news that my beloved friend Mr. Jack Gaylin, passed away.

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