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

John Ramsay

John Ramsay thimbles

John Ramsay thimbles

John Ramsay was well known for first class close up magic. He lived in Ayr in Scotland. His tricks included items like coins and thimbles. Thimbles like these were used by him as advertising giveaways. The words on the thimbles are: JOHN RAMSAY. CONJURING ENTERTAINER. AYR.

The first of 80 British Ring conventions, Cheltenham 1931

The first of 80 British Ring conventions, Cheltenham 1931

Roy presented this talk in the History of Mystery session at the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians convention in Buxton, 9 September 2016. Click on this PDF to join the conventioneers of 1931, and to understand what happened and why it was so enjoyed by the participants.

“Lights and sleights from Ayr” A celebration of the life of John Ramsay

“Lights and sleights from Ayr” A celebration of the life of John Ramsay

In 1994 Eddie delivered this talk in Ayr, Scotland, on the occasion of the unveiling of a plaque dedicating the Ramsay Gardens to John Ramsay. Eddie manages to convey the charm of the man whose close-up skills made him internationally famous. The roles of Victor Farelli and Andrew Galloway in bringing Ramsay’s magic to a wider audience are also covered, as are Ramsay’s less well-known successes with stage magic.

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.