We are pleased to announce that we have now launched the Davenport Film Collection YouTube Channel as a companion to the Davenport Collection website.

From the beginning of the 1930s the Davenport family took cine films. Many are of magic conventions, stage performances of magicians or variety acts, or magicians simply having fun when visiting the Davenport family home, Ivydene, in Kent. Characters such as Cardini, Dante, the Levantes, Chris Charlton, Chefalo and John Ramsay are all there. Some film is from other sources, for example 1936 and 1937 magic conventions in Germany. The original film is a mixture of 9.5mm, 16mm and 35mm format, some in colour and some with a soundtrack.

The first offering includes fascinating film covering the 1937 Magischer Zirkel (German Magic Circle) convention held in Berlin.

You can source all the films via the Davenport Collection website by checking out the Category Films where you will find the background details. But please also subscribe to the Davenport Film Collection YouTube Channel and you will receive notifications as new material is added in coming months. Making this film available on the website and YouTube Channel has only been possible through the skilful work of Terry Hylton and Tom McKerrow.

One theme running through recent additions to the website has been Devant’s early career, prior to the 20th century. A quick way to review these recent items is clicking on Programmes and Other Ephemera. These recent additions will appear at or near the top of each page.

Also take a look at Anne Goulden’s latest article David Devant’s first big illusion: Vice Versa. This explains the importance of the first stage illusion that Devant invented. He called it Vice Versa. The completeness of Anne’s article owes much to the generosity of The Magic Circle, Paul Kieve and Peter Lane who granted permission to include illustrations of items in their collections.

Every quarter we send out an e-news which covers various items in the collection. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, just ask the curator.

Past e-news are now available on the website. Browsing through these is a good way of getting a feel for the breadth and depth of the collection. Topics of particular interest may then be followed up using the signposting and links on the website.

Start your journey here: website e-news.

An index by Michael Colley

Michael’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.
Download the PDF here.

A book by Michael Colley

The Cambridge Pentacle Club was founded in 1919. Michael Colley has written the story of its first 100 years, making extensive use of the Pentacle Club archive and his own research. Until the 1960s the Pentacle Club was solely a university club. In the magic world its best-known undergraduate member was Alex Elmsley.
Michael’s book covers not just members, but also the well-known magical personalities who came to lecture at the club or perform in shows. Download the PDF and join Michael on his journey through time.

The original 2016 design of this website proved incapable of speedily handling all the information that is now included. So the opportunity has been taken to make a step change improvement in how the website rapidly finds items which interest you.

Looking ahead, by the end of 2021 we expect the number of items to grow to 2000, all with photographs and background information.

Do take a look – it’s quite a collection, including talks and articles by well-respected magic historians.