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

Will Goldston

The Davenports featured on the cover of ‘The Magician’ for December 1906

The Davenports featured on the cover of ‘The Magician’ for December 1906

By 1906 The Davenports were gaining plenty of work in variety theatres. Will Goldston, the editor of The Magician, clearly felt that they justified being featured on the front page. Also illustrated here is a glowing write up of The Davenports from page 3 of the magazine. The act was usually billed as “No Time to Talk” which, given the speed of the act, was fully justified.

Halftone blocks corresponding to magicians’ photographs in ‘Will Goldston’s Who’s Who in Magic’

Halftone blocks corresponding to magicians’ photographs in ‘Will Goldston’s Who’s Who in Magic’

These 40 or so blocks look brand new and it is clear they have not been used to print anything. It seems they must be spare blocks, in case they were needed during the print-run of the book. The images shown here include the halftone blocks for Robert Harbin and Charles Bertram. There is also a PDF which lists all of the magicians included on these blocks and explains how the pages of illustrations were printed.

Davenport Collection website e-news #10, June 2021

Davenport Collection website e-news #10, June 2021

Click on Details if you would like to download a PDF of this e-news.
E-newsletters like this one are sent out four times a year, highlighting recent additions to the website. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the curator.

The June 2021 issue included:
– a card trick with a canary.
– a box for changing a lily into a rose.
– information on Will Goldston (1877-1948).
– John Salisse and the Maskelynes.
– a levitating light bulb.
– a box of Egyptian Hall ephemera.
– Peter Lane’s talk on magicians’ programmes.

To see all the other e-news, click on Website e-news.

Davenport Collection website e-news #9, March 2021

Davenport Collection website e-news #9, March 2021

Click on Details if you would like to download a PDF of this e-news.
E-newsletters like this one are sent out four times a year, highlighting recent additions to the website. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the curator.

The March 2021 issue included:
Gems from The Magic Circle Collection: Mr Maskelyne’s famous play by Anne Goulden.
Gus Davenport – the man and the magician by John Davenport.
– Roy Field on Magic at the Seaside.
– Honouring Oswald Williams.
– Paul Freeman on Adalbert Frikell.

To see all the other e-news, click on Website e-news.

Will Goldston – the man and the legend

Will Goldston – the man and the legend

This talk covers new insights into the private and business lives of Goldston. It is based on a study of the Goldston archives within the Davenport Collection as well as new research undertaken by Fergus. The story is a fascinating one, brought to life with many illustrations. The talk starts by solving the mystery of where Goldston was born.

Chevalier Ernest Thorn – “King of Illusionists”

Chevalier Ernest Thorn – “King of Illusionists”

Many know the name Chevalier Thorn, but few of us know his story. Paul Freeman’s research has pulled together a revealing picture of the man and his magic. From his birth in 1853 to his death in 1928 there were huge changes in the world of magic. Thorn’s accomplishments contributed to these changes and deserve wider recognition. Paul Freeman’s talk will do much to rectify this. Click here to download the PDF based on his talk.

Roberta Byron 1917-2002

Roberta Byron 1917-2002

Roberta visited Britain as an American teenager in 1931 with her parents and sister. Her charm and quality of magic made quite an impact, not least at the first convention of the I.B.M. British Ring in Cheltenham. In Britain she is largely unknown today, and Brian tells the story of how a photograph resulted in a journey of discovery to find out more about this talented young lady. Join Brian on his quest for more information below.

Gus Davenport – the man and the magician

Gus Davenport – the man and the magician

Growing up in the Davenport family, Gus was surrounded by magic performances and the manufacture and sale of magic. Fortunately, he embraced it. This short article describes Gus the man and the personality and skills that led him to particular styles of performing.