The Davenport Collection
- a growing resource on magic and entertainment history

Edward Victor

Programme for the Sixth Grand Séance of The Magic Circle, 10 April 1911

Programme for the Sixth Grand Séance of The Magic Circle, 10 April 1911

The bill included The Davenports. The act consisted of Lewis and Wynne Davenport and Dave Dwyer, who was the brother of Lewis’s first wife Julia. The act went well. According to The Magic Wand, Vol. 1 No. 9: “The next item was the Davenports, and here we had a brilliant example of professional conjuring. Space will not permit to describe the act, but it went with such a swing that the majority of the audiecne forgot that they had a back to their seat, so pressed against the one in front of them. Mention must be made, however, of the humerous assistant, whose antics, whilst catching the goldfish in the glass bowl previously produced, and eating them, with or without condiments, was most comical.” The Magic Circular of June 1911 agreed: “The Davenports then presented their Humerous Magical Act, one of the most appreciated items of the evening, being really good magic and good fooling. As a matter of fact we laughed so at the show, that our notes of what was done by the leading magician of the trio are quite undecipherable.” The illustration included here is by Nathan Dean and was published in The Magic Wand.

Still photographs from the Davenport family cine films

Still photographs from the Davenport family cine films

The collection contains cine film taken by the family, much of it from the 1930s. The film has been transferred to tape, and more recently converted to an electronic form, in order to preserve the images. During this process some of the more interesting frames have been printed out as photographs. The magician on the top sheet of photographs shown here is Gus Davenport performing in Berlin in 1937. The face of Ottokar Fischer can be seen in one of the photographs lower down in the pile.