Michael Colley’s index will be a boon to any serious researcher who wants to check on relevant material in the Demon Telegraph.
When Davenports first published it in 1933, the content was mainly advertising. It wasn’t until Issue no. 61, when the New Series started in 1942, that more articles were added. There were articles aimed at performing magicians covering tricks, bits of business and performance advice. The series of articles on ‘Old Timers I Have Met’ and ‘Programmes of the Past’ are of especial interest to magic historians.

The magician shows a stand on which is placed a wooden frame which has been shown to break into two across the hole in the centre of the frame. The magician hands out a card for examination and then demonstrates that it fits inside the frame, the hole in the card coinciding with the hole in the frame. The card is placed back on the table. The magician then shows that the glass chimney fits through the hole in the frame, where it is left in position and a silk handkerchief pushed through so that it hangs out from both ends. The magician again picks up the card and pushes it into the top slot in the frame. It should of course come to rest when it hits the top part of the chimney but, with the correct magic word, the card is pushed right through the chimney and handkerchief and down to the bottom of the frame. The apparatus can be shown all around. The final applause comes when the magician removes the top half of the frame and lifts out the card and chimney, showing that the card really is threaded onto the chimney.

With help from Chris Cross and Philip Treece, the inventor of this trick has been identified as Brian Godfrey. In the ‘Demon Telegraph’ of October 1933 (illustrated) the trick is advertised as Brian Godfrey’s PHANTOM PENETRATION. This is the first mention of the trick we have found. The trick makes use of a glass tumbler rather than a glass chimney. A few years later Goldston and Stanyon advertised the trick. In America, the same effect called ‘Improbability’ was sold by the National Magic Company and Sherms. They do not credit the inventor. The trick is written up in ‘Goldston’s Magical Quarterly’ of September 1935. Bob Albo describes the effect in detail in Volume III of his Classic Magic series.

When you indent a disc and place it on a flat surface, after a while it will spring back into its original position and jump several feet into the air. Advice on how best to make it jump may be found here. The Davenport demon trademark is stamped into the disc.

Two matchboxes are on the table, one on top of the other. As you pick up the top box, the one underneath, which is attached, starts twirling round. Quite a surprise. This is definitely old Davenport stock as it was included in some of the goody bags for the 1998 Davenports Centenary Celebration held in Brighton.

When your target picks up this matchbox from the table, it immediately wobbles in a most surprising manner. The box contains a clockwork motor with an eccentric weight attached. As soon as the box is lifted the motor starts. Note the tiny Davenport demon head trademark and the initials L.D. on the front of the box. This Demon Wobbly Matchbox was sold in an eye catching box printed in a style typical of Davenports at the time.

When your target picks up this matchbox from the table, it immediately wobbles in a most surprising manner. The box contains a clockwork motor with an eccentric weight attached. As soon as the box is lifted the motor starts. Note the tiny Davenport demon head trademark and the initials L.D. on the front of the box. The advertisement is from a Davenports catalogue.

A teacup and spoon are handed for examination. The cup is then filled with tea and the spoon placed inside. After a short period the spoon flies up into the air. The illustrated instructions explain what makes the joke work. This is a Demon Series joke sold by Davenports. The illustrated advertisement is from a Davenports catalogue.

Give the pencil to a friend and they will be surprised when they try and write with it. The pencil has on it: Demon Series L.D. London Foreign.

This was a set put out by Davenports. This particular box was a gift from Philip Treece in 2018. Philip had another example which also contained a small metal box, with a demon head sticker on it, which was used to contain gum. The photograph of this is shown courtesy of Philip Treece.

This appears to be an ordinary graphite pencil, but you tell your friends that it can write either red, white or blue. They fail to get the pencil to do this. The laugh is on them when you take the pencil and use it to spell out the words red, white or blue. The illustrated advertisement from a Davenport catalogue is either a more complicated version with a green wire, or it may be that this wire is missing on this particular example.