At first sight, this is the original photograph that was published in the programme for the Tenth Annual Grand Séance of The Magic Circle held on 29 March 1915 at St. George’s Hall. The photograph from the programme, which includes the names of the gentlemen, is also illustrated here. If you look more closely you will see that the photograph from the programme has an extra person added to the far left and the far right.

The photograph is on page 4 of a programme for David Devant’s Entertainment at the Granville Theatre, Ramsgate in 1898. For the whole programme see Ref. no. N1928. This photograph of Walter Booth is significant because, as at 2020, it is one of only two known photographs of him which allows early cinema historians to identify Booth when he appears in early films. It had long been suspected that a magician in the films was Booth, but there was no firm evidence. For more information, click on the name Walter Booth below. For still more information on Booth visit his Wikipedia page.

This is one page from a Maskelyne and Cooke’s Entertainment Bureau brochure, the cover of which is also illustrated. This item on Booth contains a clear photograph of him, which is significant because, as at 2020, it is one of only two known photographs of him which allows early cinema historians to identify Booth when he appears in early films. It had long been suspected that a magician in the films was Booth, but there was no firm evidence. For the other photograph, click on Walter Booth below. For still more information on Booth visit his Wikipedia page.

J.N. (“Jack”) Maskelyne was the eldest of Nevil Maskelyne’s five children. He was not interested in joining the family magic business. He was a railway enthusiast and became well known for his knowledge of locomotives. This print is of the locomotive Claud Hamilton, which Jack lovingly describes on pages 108-109 of his book ‘Locomotives I Have Known’ published by Percival Marshall in 1959. The Davenport Collection also contains a copy of the book signed by J.N. Maskelyne in 1960.