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.

Herbert J. Collings performed his pseudo-Chinese act under the name Col Ling Soo. He was a successful performer and twice served as President of The Magic Circle, from 1928 – 1931 and from 1954 – 1958. This explains why on his letterhead he has crossed out the word ‘Past’ in front of the words ‘President of the Magic Circle’. 1955 was the Golden Jubilee for The Magic Circle. His letter tells us that he had a particularly busy week over the period of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations. This item from the Chris Woodward Collection is included here with his kind permission. There is much more on this fascinating character in Ref. no. N2345, which contains Herbert J.’s illustrated ‘Smilestones: Recollections of Herbert J. Collings in his own words: 1898-1946’.