Peter’s talk traces the development of magicians’ programmes from the 19th century into the 20th century. He illustrates this with a wide range of Maskelyne programmes, as well as those of numerous other performers, from Signor Blitz to Carmo – around 50 programmes in all. On the way Peter highlights intriguing facts that can be discovered about the performers by careful study of the programmes.

Some relate to magic or magicians. For example De Vere, and there are three versions of The T. Nelson Downs Palming Coin: one version has no word under the wrist, another has the word FOREIGN in that position, and the third has the word DEMON there.

All have dates of March, April or May 1931. The images are of Alexander Herrmann, Howard Thurston, Ching Ling Foo, Robert Houdin, Harry Houdini, J.W. Elliott MD, Okito – Theo. Bamberg, Gus Fowler, Carl Rosini, Carl Hertz, Frederick Eugene Powell, T. Nelson Downs, Harry Rouclere, Karl Herrmann, Wizard Jacobs, Wyman The Wizard, MacAlister, J.N. Maskelyne, Jonathan Harrington, Robert Heller, Antonio Blitz, Imro Fox, Buatier De Kolta, Servais Le Roy, William E. Robinson (Ching [sic] Ling Soo).