The spools are of various sizes for 9.5mm and 16mm film. Over the years, the film has been transferred to larger spools. Most has now been transferred to magnetic tape and then to DVDs or a digital format. Around the time of the Davenport centenary celebrations in 1998 Davenports sold copies of a VHS tape ‘The Davenport Archive Film – Volume 3’ which contained much of the most interesting footage.

This was the projector used by the Davenport family to show various cine films of family members, friends and magicians. The films were mainly taken in the 1930s. It was made in Switzerland and operated on 110 volts. For use in the United Kingdom a rheostat (the variable resistor shown in the photograph) was necessary to step the mains voltage down from 240 to 110 volts. It was easy to get an electric shock off the rheostat – it would not be allowed today. The design of the projector was clever in that simply by changing some of the fittings it was possible to show both 9.5mm and 16mm film.

Gus and John Davenport built an OO gauge model railway in the 1960s. Once built, they tired of watching the trains go round, and so looked for other things to add to the layout. On one side of the layout was a cliff covered in nothing other than clumps of grass on the cliff face. This seemed the ideal spot to build a funicular, and that is what they did. I have included it on this website for personal reasons, and on the basis that a home made funicular is certainly a novelty! A film of the layout made by magician Harry Baron is also in the collection.

On 9 February 2012 Anne Goulden gave this talk at the British Music Hall study group in London. It follows Lewis Davenport’s performing career from around 1900 to around 1930 and explains how he juggled his time between his magic business, music hall work, and other performances. On the way it provides an overview of the different types of variety entertainment during the period.

We are grateful to Paul Freeman who has given us permission to include this PDF version of his talk, which he has given in England and Austria between 2008 and 2011. Paul relates the interesting and often surprising ways in which magicians have ended up with a well-known stage name.

David Price is well placed to offer insight into the joys and pitfalls of collecting magic books. He has stories to share about major UK collectors and booksellers of the 20th century: Andrew Block, Harry Bosworth, Leslie Cole, Jimmy Findlay and George Jenness. David’s personal recollections of Sotheby’s and the world of magic book collecting are both informative and entertaining. Click below for the PDF of David’s talk. [Photograph courtesy of David Hibberd and The Magic Circle Archive.]

This talk covers new insights into the private and business lives of Goldston. It is based on a study of the Goldston archives within the Davenport Collection as well as new research undertaken by Fergus. The story is a fascinating one, brought to life with many illustrations. The talk starts by solving the mystery of where Goldston was born.