Tuesday, September 18, 2018

J. Harvey Arnold “The Tricky Gabster”

Magicians liked to give themselves handles. There was the “Tricky Trixter”, and the “Mystic Merrymaker”. More than one magician went by “The Talkative Trixter”. This post is about a performer who called himself “The Tricky Gabster”.

J. Harvey Arnold was originally from New Jersey. One source said his home town was the city of Burlington, while another said it was Princeton. He did however live in Princeton, as I found ads that he ran with an address from there. He was inspired by magic in 1903 by a friend named Professor Pugh.
Arnold’s throw-out card had a little bit of a variation on the back of it. As can be seen below, the back is the Roterberg/Stanyon Back with a change to the image in the circle. The image of the cards and pips has been replaced with an alteration of the insignia of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
While in Princeton, it has been stated that he operated the Arnold Magic Company. He started his own magic magazine in 1915, The Impromptu Trixter. It did not however, seem to last long, maybe not even making it past the first issue.
Arnold ran an ad in The Sphinx for May of 1921 for an effect called “Reverso”
J. Harvey also dabbled in selling other things too, as I found ads in Billboard magazine from 1919. In one, the ad said, “Make Your Own Goods – Catalogue of formulas, six manufacturing secrets and Directory of Supply Sources. $1.50 value for 25 cents. J. Harvey Arnold, Princeton, New Jersey”. Another ad stated, “New Method by which anyone can imitate birds, animals, steamboat whistles, musical instruments, etc., with mouth and hands; book of 37 imitations complete, 35 cents. J Harvey Arnold, Princeton, New Jersey”. (Author’s note: In order to lead a full life, I am sure there was a HUGH demand for that book!)
By 1925, Arnold was living in Chicago, and was active in the local magic clubs. He was No. 60 in the I.B.M. In The Linking Ring for May of 1925 he ran this interesting ad. Could these cards be examples similar to his own throw-out and business card? Why was it that Arnold offered printing services?
After Arnold moved to Chicago, he worked as a printer or linotype operator for either The Chicago Tribune or The Chicago Daily News. He more than likely also had his own printing equipment in order to offer customized printing services. Arnold’s own business card had a little ad at the bottom as can be seen at the beginning of this post.
In May of 1943, The Linking Ring ran this little bio and picture of J. Harvey Arnold.
The magazines The Sphinx and The Linking Ring had brief mentions in 1948 that J. Harvey Arnold had passed away on July 25, while vacationing in Michigan. I have as yet been unable to discover his date of birth.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

George McAthy – “Mandroop the Magician”

How many times have you heard the phrase, “It’s a small world”? Well, it really is true. Recently my wife was walking with her friend Kay, and Kay was talking about a lunch with some longtime friends of hers. She related that she had just found out for the first time that the husband’s father had been a magician and ventriloquist. There are so many magicians, that the chances of my having ever heard of him were very slim. However, the fact he was also a ventriloquist told me he was much more than just a dabbler in the hobby as a ventriloquial figure is an expensive investment. I asked my wife to find out his name. When I read the email and saw the name “McAthy”, I thought to myself, “Mandroop”!
George "Mandroop" McAthy's Throw-Out Card
From the time I got involved in magic at the age of twelve, I had seen the name George McAthy mentioned in the magic magazines and in magic shop catalogs. I told Kay that he was very well known during his years in magic. How well known? Well, when I typed in the name McAthy on the Ask Alexander search engine, I got 1,119 matches in 521 documents! That’s well known.
George “Mandroop” McAthy was born on May 24, 1910 in Oswego, New York. His interest in magic started after witnessing a magic show of Howard Thurston, America’s most famous magician. Edgar Bergen was the inspiration for his interest in ventriloquism. McAthy lived in several towns growing up in New York, and had several mentors such as Gene Gordon, and Elmer Eckam who helped him and encouraged his interest in the art.
His first big break was working as an assistant on the show of Cliff Lesta. Lesta let McAthy have a spot in the show doing a ventriloquist act. George relocated to Pennsylvania and while attending an I.B.M. convention in Beaver Falls, he met a girl whose parents had an interest in magic, Harry and Zola Pavey. Her name was Mary Lou, and a short time later, Mary Lou became Mrs. George McAthy. After a few years, the McAthy’s moved to California. George and Mary Lou had two sons, Gary and Greg.
While George McAthy worked outside of magic for a time, he went on to become very active as a magician and ventriloquist in many different aspects of those arts; he wrote numerous books on magic and ventriloquism, as well as developing many magic effects. George also constructed, refurbished, and repaired ventriloquial figures. His main figure that he used was named “Corny”. Corny went on to some measure of fame as a movie star according to this article from The Linking Ring for September 1957.
George also worked for several magic shops in California including Thayer’s Studio, Abbott’s in Hollywood, and Merv Taylor’s store. This ad ran in The Linking Ring for December of 1945.
McAthy formed a partnership with Tommy Windsor in the 1940’s. Tommy marketed the tricks, tips, and ideas that George came up with. George had great ideas for doing comedy magic. (Did I also mention he performed as Hokey the Clown?) The great TV comedy and gag-writer Robert Orben said “It was McAthy’s early books on magic patter that persuaded him to take up a writing career”. George McAthy was the founder of “The Deceptive Order of Prestidigitatorial Entertainers Society", or "The D.O.P.E.S.". George and Tommy published a magazine called the Dope Sheet.
McAthy as "Hokey the Clown" and an issue of the Dope Sheet.
George McAthy was considered by his peers as one of the nicest people in magic. While everyone who met him expected to meet a man full of jokes and wise-cracks, on the contrary, George was a quiet and retiring individual. The late Eric Lewis, in writing about McAthy said, “My original mental image had been of a man who might be difficult to make friends with; the truth was a man who it was impossible NOT to be friendly with”. The Linking Ring for September 1947 had great things to say about George.
When I sent Kay some images and information that I had on George McAthy, she sent them on to her friend, George’s son Gary. He was really interested and amazed that anyone would remember his father. George McAthy had passed away on September 7, 1971. It had been a long time. Gary and Kay made arrangements for him and his wife Sally to come to my home to see my collection and to talk more about his father.
Ventriloquists including George McAthy and his son Gary from The Linking Ring for October, 1949.
We spent several enjoyable hours going over the items I had on his dad, and he talked about his memories of his father.  We talked about his dad’s connection with Tommy Windsor, and I showed him my magic collection devoted to Tommy, as I had seen him perform when I was a kid.

From the left: Sally and Gary McAthy, Jay Hunter, and Kay Chave.

One final thing I would like to mention. Kay had said Gary looked a lot like his father after she had seen pictures of George that I had shown her.  Boy, was that an understatement!
George McAthy in the left photo, and his son Gary McAthy standing next to the guy in the Hawaiian shirt.
My wife Susan and I would like to thank Gary and Sally McAthy for coming to our home and making it such a memorable day. Also, a REALLY big thank you to our friend and neighbor Kay Chave for making that day possible.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Rauscher Revisited

Tom Ewing has previously provided this excellent post about author/magician William Rauscher and his wonderful throwout card.   While I don't have Tom's extensive experience with Bill Rauscher, I had the great fortune of seeing Bill perform in 2016 at the New England Magic Collectors' Association (NEMCA), where he offered a wonderful, full evening stage show.

It was a classic performance, featuring this gentlemanly star and some intriguing, beautiful magic pieces, including Aerial Fishing and the Flags of All Nations.

This spring I bumped into Mr. Rauscher at the New England Magicians Conference (NEMCON), and inquired as to whether I could obtain one of his throwout cards for my collection.  Mr. Rauscher, true to form, generously offered to send me one, and we exchanged contact information.  A few weeks later, a package arrived which not only contained the aforementioned scaling card (as pictured in Tom's post), but two other items of interest.  The first is a commemorative token featuring Mr. Rauscher.  While I'm no expert on tokens (which prove much more difficult to photograph than throwing cards), it's one of the prettiest tokens I've seen.

The second item is even more relevant to our discussions here.  Bill provided me with a copy of a baseball card-style collectible produced by an outfit called Big League cards.  This charming piece, seen above, nicely showcases our star and provides a succinct biographical summary on the reverse.  And what kid didn't dream of being featured on a baseball trading card?

Turns out, though, Mr. Rauscher isn't the only magician appearing on this line of trading cards.   Poking around the Internet, I turned up card for "Mr. Fun, the Fun Fun Man" (identified as Nick Tomei), as well as a card promoting Ray Goulet's Magic Museum (conveniently dated 1991).

Several years back, our friend Bill Mullins made some inquiries about these unusual trading cards, and learned a little of their history.  Big League Cards were produced by a firm founded by retired professional pitcher Jim Bouton,  who wanted to produce affordable short-run trading cards.  The prices proved too reasonable, and the firm eventually folded.  However, it left some terrific collectibles that may be obtained by collectors.  Mr. Mullins has collected several very interesting specimens, including pieces for famed magic author Herman Hanson, Silent Mora, Walter Gibson, and his wife Litza.  Images of several of these, along with related tokens, appear below.

Several of these cards appear to sport caricatures by magic artist Alan Wassilak.  Thanks to Bill Mullins for sharing these images and to Bill Rauscher for providing this interesting material.  

You can read more about Bill Rauscher's career here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

George (?) Corregan Jr. – The Magic Changing Initial

Going through my throw-out cards, I found a name and realized I had some additional memorabilia on this particular magician. I really like it when I find something out of the ordinary in my research. In this case George Corregan had a middle name problem, at least “initially”!

George “Duke” Corregan was born on August 20, 1897 in Boston, Massachusetts. As a newsboy, he sent off for a trick and a catalog from the Hornmann Magic Company. He saw their ad in an old New York newspaper. He then discovered the Bailey and Tripp Magic Shop in his hometown of Boston. Sam Bailey took young Corregan under his wing, and taught him magic, gave ideas, and sold him apparatus. The following art work is a pencil drawing that may have led to future advertising.
From the Author's Collection
Duke grew up and became proficient in all types of magic, including sleight-of-hand, escapes, chalk talks, and acting as emcee for magic club shows. He was a very early member of the I.B.M., holding member #41.  He was admitted to the S.A.M in 1922 as #924, under the name of Geo. C. Corregan, Jr. From there in the different magic magazines of the time, that middle initial kept changing like it was some kind of magic trick.
Corregan ran ads in the magazines in the twenties and that middle initial just kept changing. Here are five ads, each one with a different middle initial.
So, which initial was the correct one? We will let his throw-out card decide that question. On the card shown below, George is using the middle initial G. According to Duke’s obituary in M-U-M, his middle name was Gilmore. The back of the card is the Roterberg/Stanyon Back design that is discussed elsewhere on this site.
Besides his interest in magic, Corregan also worked for, and later owned a photography studio in the Boston area. I found a number of photos in the magic magazines attributed to him. Duke was on the cover of M-U-M magazine for the month of April of 1963.
George Gilmore Corregan, Jr. passed away on June 23, 1971. “For nearly fifty years a highly respected and influential member of Boston Assembly No. 9” said the obituary in M-U-M magazine.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Dana Walden – On Pins and Raisins

About a year ago, Judge Brown had a post entitled “Holding Even More Good Bicycle Cards”. Included in the post was an assortment of Bicycle cards of nine different magicians. This post is about one of them, Dana Walden. The two examples in my collection have slightly different wording on the face of the cards in reference to holding Bicycle Playing Cards.
The reverse of these two cards show a couple of early Bicycle backs. The card on the left is the Wheel No. 2 back first released in 1907. The card on the right is a Sprocket No. 2 which came out in 1905.
According to an interview Lorenzo Dana Walden gave to The Sphinx in May of 1915, he said that he was born on October 16, 1885 in Syracuse, New York. Walden was able to do something that many of us that are interested in magic wish we could have done. He got to witness a performance by Alexander Herrmann, “Herrmann the Great”, when young Walden was seven years old. He was so impressed, that he decided that becoming a magician was in his future.
The Sphinx for September, 1906
When the Lyceum and Chautauqua magician Edward Maro passed away in 1908, Walden stated, “I filled the remainder of his season at Alkahest (Lyceum), Georgia”. A bio I found on Maro however, claims Eugene Laurant took Maro’s place on the circuit.  Further research leads me to believe it was two different entertainment bureaus in which these two magicians acted as replacements. Walden however, did go on from there to become a well-known and admired magician himself on the Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits.
Walden was mentioned in the magic magazines of his time for many years. In February, 1910, Walden wrote that “he has cut his show from a dozen trunks to two only, and is giving a better show”…”and greater satisfaction to his Lyceum audiences than ever before”. In 1922, T.W. McGrath writing in The Sphinx stated, “We never tire of Dana Walden, and his act is an inspiration, and no one we have ever seen has as much real magic at his finger ends as our Walden on the stage”.
From The Sphinx for August, 1915
Walden also marketed some of his magic effects, including a version of Houdini’s Needle Trick, in which a number of sewing needles, together with some thread is swallowed and then, the needles are pulled from one’s mouth strung on the thread. Walden called his trick, “Supper of Pins”.
Ad in The Sphinx for March 15, 1920.
One really interesting story about Walden is that for a period of time from between 1916 and 1918, he gave up magic in order to buy a ranch in California to grow grapes… to be made into raisins! By July of 1918 however, the ranch was sold, and The Sphinx reported that Walden and his wife “will return to the stage”. Dana Walden went on to live until sometime in the 1930’s. I have not been able to find his exact date of death.
“Herrmann the Great” inspired a lot of magicians in the early part of the twentieth century, and many went on to uphold his standards when it came to pleasing their audiences. It sounds like Dana Walden was one of those magicians. Here is a final comment from The Lyceumite and Talent magazine from 1912.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Thomas. The Magician.

This throw-out card is about as plain as you can get on the face of it. It doesn’t fool around, it gets right to the point. “Thomas. The Magician.” It does however have several things about it that make it a little extra special.  It says that Thomas is from Canton, PA and it states that “Entertainments Given at Reasonable Rates”. It further states “Illusions Skilled in the Mystic Art”.

What is really interesting is that the ad for Bicycle is different than the usual statement of “When you play with BICYCLE you hold GOOD PLAYING CARDS”. On this particular card it reads, "This is a sample of 'BICYCLE' Playing Cards. It pays to buy 'Bicycles' because they wear best, and are so satisfactory in appearance, finish and dealing and playing qualities. Sold by dealers every-where from Greenland to Australia."

Bicycle Motorcycle No. 2 Back.


On the reverse of the card is the Bicycle Motorcycle No. 2 back. This is the only throw-out card in my collection issued by Bicycle with this variant back. Bicycle issued this back design in 1914, so we know it cannot be earlier than that.


Trying to find out who this Thomas was has been a real interesting adventure! When trying to locate the name Thomas in my usual resources, I came up with too many people. I then tried the city Canton, PA and found just a couple of ads in different magic magazines in which Thomas was selling a few things. An ad in The Sphinx for December of 1910 said this.

  This still did not tell me more of his name, until I found one ad in Mahatma for July of 1901.

Now I had some initials, but nothing more. The magic resources were now at an end. So I went to Find A Grave and looked up D. H. Thomas for Canton, PA. I found a listing for a Delos H. Thomas buried in Canton, but was he our magician? I did find out that Delos Thomas was a veteran of World War I, as there was a marker for this next to his gravestone. Besides his name, there are just the dates 1883-1955.
I then thought I would look him up on the resource I have for newspapers for up-state New York. I figured it was worth a shot. As it turns out, Canton, PA is not that far from Elmira, NY and I found 37 references for a Delos H. Thomas in the Elmira newspapers. There was a Canton column that was like a society column relating the latest news of the citizens of Canton. We were able to read that Delos went to a banquet with a friend. Another time he spent a day “fishing for pickerel on Towanda Creek”. In 1916 it was mentioned that Delos and a group of people “were motor visitors to Troy on Sunday”.
Elsewhere, in the 1907 Bradford County Pennsylvania Directory for the Canton Borough, it said that Thomas was working as a clerk. Delos Thomas’s obituary was found in the Elmira NY Star Gazette for March 7, 1955.
Well, was Delos Thomas a magician? Was he the subject of this post? At the bottom of the references to Thomas on the database I was looking at, I found this in the Elmira NY Morning Telegram for June 4, 1905.
Then on May 8, 1914, this appeared in the Star Gazette in Elmira.
Trying Ask Alexander one more time, I was able to find this one entry in Mahatma for March of 1903.
There we have it. It took a lot of sleuthing but I was finally able to confirm that Delos H. Thomas was the one time amateur magician who produced the above throw-out card with the really cool Bicycle back. Maybe more will turn up on Mr. Thomas in the future. Maybe too, there are more Motorcycle No. 2 cards out there! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Oakland Magic Circle

So right off the bat, I’ll admit that this current pasteboard was likely not propelled but rather given away as a souvenir of the Seventh Annual Dinner Dance of the Oakland Magic Circle. The affair occurred at the Hotel Alameda on September 10, 1932.

The front of the card features the logo of the Circle and lists past presidents beginning in 1925-26 when Professor El-Tab held the post. The reverse is the Theodore Deland back copyrighted 1913.

Over 100 magicians attended the event including a number from the Golden Gate Assembly #2 of the Society of American Magicians in San Francisco. The master of ceremonies was founding member and past President Lloyd Jones (1930-31). Jones was proprietor of Magic Limited in Oakland, California from around 1941 until his death. He published several in-house magazines including: The Bat, Bat, Jr., S.O.B., Jr. and finally Bat Droppings. He also wrote book reviews for Genii Magazine under a column titled "Light From the Lamp" for many years and later in Tops. He also served as a national president of the Society of American Magicians.

The show that evening was presented by local members including:

· Colonel Grant – Radio Artist on station KFI

· Robert S. Bailey – Londonderry Wizard

· K. Kelly

· Barkann Rosinoff

· Dr. Loren J. Ennis

· L. Caro Miller

The effects ranged from Sun and Moon, Spider Illusion, Phantom Tube Productions, billiard ball manipulations and concluded with a vibroharp selection. Outgoing President W.D. Allstrand was presented with the Circle’s Past President Jewel and the affair ended at 1 A.M.

The previous month, the Circle had celebrated “Zamloch Night,” in honor of Professor Anton F. Zamloch then in his 84th year. He was already an honorary member of the Circle for his record of trouping his magic show over fifty years in the U.S. Mexico, the Hawaiian Islands, and elsewhere. He started out in magic in 1869 and was one of the early “gift show” magicians. After retiring from long distance tours he confined his presentations to vaudeville. A magic show was presented in his honor and it was noted that in Burlingame’s 1891 book, “Leaves from Conjurors’ Scrap Books,” Zamloch was described as, “The leading conjuror of the Pacific Coast.

A month after the Seventh Annual Dinner and Dance, Zamloch passed away October 29th after suffering a heart attack. He was in excellent health at the time although advanced in years.

The photo above shows Zamloch with two of his stage effects, a table which raps in response to questions from the audience and a drum which does likewise. Not only were they worked on stage, they were also taken into the audience and placed in the aisles yet the replies came just the same.

The Oakland Magic Circle remains an active club to this day and meets at Bjornson Hall, 2258 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, California on the first Tuesday of every month, except July. Their website was last updated in 2016. The list of past presidents below features some very talented full-time magicians and amateurs. From noted book collector, dealer, author and magic historian Byron Walker (current Secretary and Past President of the Circle), I learned that the president in 2017 was Nathaniel Segal. The president in 2018 is Doug Eakin.

OMC Past Presidents
1. Prof. El-Tab 1925
2. Arthur F. Bull 1926
3. Alfred Lamb 1927
4. Lewis Miller 1928
5. Claude Burke 1929
6. Lloyd E. Jones 1930
7. William D. Alstrand 1931
8. W. C. McCulloch 1932
9. Dr. L. J. Ennis 1933
10. R. S. Bailey 1934
11. James H. Muir 1935
12. Caro A. Miller 1936
13. Bert F. Hansen 1937
14. Clarence Cain 1938
15. R. S. Glover 1939
16. Robert J. Stull 1940
17. Lloyd E. Jones 1941
18. Ben R. Olsen 1942
19. Murray Rosenthal 1943
20. Jimmy Eyster 1944
21. Fred Braue 1945
22. Lawrence Hunter 1946
23. Almow A. Thompson 1947
24. John B. Lewis 1948
25. Larry C. Keller 1949
26. Larry C. Keller 1950
27. William Fleming 1951
28. Earl F. Wheeler 1952
29. William Fleming 1953
30. Bert F. Pratt 1954
31. Charles M. Chambers 1955
32. Charles C. Conrad 1956
33. Charles C. Conrad 1957
34. Marvin N. Burger 1958
35. Jimmy Embree 1959
36. Larry Oliveira 1960
37. Victor Merga 1961
38. Ralph M. Larion 1962
39. Price Burlingame 1963
40. Ralph J. Brown 1964
41. Lloyd E. Jones 1965
42. Kenneth B. Bull 1966
43. Kenneth B. Bull 1967
44. Roger Mycroft 1968
45. Peter A. Biro 1970
46. Peter A. Biro 1971
47. John P. Mac Namara 1972
48. Peter A. Biro 1973
49. Kenneth B. Bull 1974
50. Hal Dipboye 1975
51. Hal Dipboye/B. Huston 1976
52. Owen Barber 1977
53. Rene Castillo 1978
54. Richard Fleming 1979
55. Richard Fleming 1980
56. Lloyd E. Jones 1981
57. Mel Wittich 1982
58. Mike Palmer 1983
59. Cas Boxley/M. Palmer 1984
60. James Hamilton 1985
61. Larry Nelson 1986
62. Jeff Vines 1987
63. Dave Berry 1988
64. Dave Berry 1989
65. Fred Casto 1990
66. Fred Casto 1991
67. Tom Cutts 1992
68. Tom Cutts 1993
69. Tom Cutts 1994
70. Tom Cutts 1995
71. Dave Berry 1996
72. Dave Berry/Joe Green 1997
73. Tom Cutts 1998
74. Rich Stewman 1999
75. James Hamilton 2000
76. Dale Chung 2001
77. Dale Chung 2002
78. Dale Chung 2003
79. Peter Winch 2004
80. Bill Austen 2005
81. James Hamilton 2006
83. David F. Fry 2007
84. Scott Alcalay 2008
85. Scott Alcalay 2009
86. Scott Alcalay 2010
87. Michael Della Penna 2011
88.Scott Alcalay 2012
89. Scott Alcalay 2013
90. Byron Walker 2014
91. Michael Della Penna 2015
92. Mark Tarses 2016

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Mysterious Smith and Madame Olga

Back in the day when vaudeville was king and audiences thrilled to both magic and mind reading, there was no more impressive team than Mysterious Smith and Madame Olga. Smith was originally from France who came to the U.S. while a young boy. His natal name was Canter, but like many immigrants he wanted an American name and Smith being the most common, he went with that.

Albert P. Smith served in the Spanish American War and when he got out of the service in 1901, he started on tour with his magic playing in Japan, China, across India and back to the Philippines.

Smith and his wife and chief assistant Olga, mostly played medium sized towns for a week at a time performing several shows a day. After coming back to the United States, he played in moderate size towns for a week at a time. His main publicity stunt was a coffin escape where he was strapped into a straitjacket and locked in the coffin. Normally he escaped in under a minute. He wife and chief assistant, as Madame Olga, did a mentalism act in the show.
Shown above is an example of their good luck scaling card which promoted “Mysterious Smith Company” on the front and a photo of Madame Olga on the reverse inside of a lucky horseshoe and surrounded by Swastika’s, ancient symbol of good luck until the Nazi’s turned it into an image of terror and evil. Possessors of the card were advised to keep it for good luck. This one must have been kept for many years as it is well worn. Still it is an interesting piece of ephemera from another era. 

The late magician and author Bob Parrish recalled seeing Smith and Olga at a local theater in Mason City, Iowa and described Smith’s act as follows: 

Successive curtains parted, building to the brisk entrance of Smith, a balding, jolly wizard who punctuated his miracles with little cackles of glee. In his opening patter, he explained that it was all done by trickery. “But I am going to fool you,” he said. “and HOW I am going to fool you.

Such applause. They loved Mysterious Smith in Mason City. 

In my recollection of this glamorous performance, outstanding features included a vanishing gramophone of antique vintage, including the Edison cylinder (which played hoarsely) and gigantic blossom of a speaker horn, the breathtaking evanishment of a girl in a box (including the box), a rapid sub trunk (“Don’t blink or you’ll miss the trick!), and a version of the Tarbell Rope Trick, which I found utterly incomprehensible. And of course, Madame Olga, who sat berobed and bejeweled upon a throne and dealt authoritatively with the thoughts of her spectators, concluding her response to each query with the ringing words, “Your QUEStion is ANswered.”

According to Bob Nelson writing in his “Mentalism & Things Psychic column in Tops Magazine for February 1965, Smith and Olga performed their mental act on the full evening show of Tampa the Magician who, for a time, toured Thurston’s number 3 show.

At the end of his career, Smith had performed 28,000 shows around the world and around America to great acclaim.

According to Magicpedia, Smith retired around 1935 to become a photographer in Madisonville, Tennessee and sold his show to Howard Thurston's brother, Harry Thurston. He did perform again after retirement in Iowa with an act called "The White Prophet: Do Spirits Return?" which featured a Spirit Cabinet.

His last performance was in Nashville, Tennessee in 1942. He died May 16, 1957. The author has not been able to determine when his wife died. Late in her career, Rose Hester and Walt Hudson came out with a book titled, “Psychic Character Analysis” and so it through the magic magazines. It instructed people how to do “cold readings,” or methods of reading peoples appearances, body language, behavior and other factors to give “psychic insights.” The ad for the book had quotes from mentalists and others who use this method endorsing the book. The very last quote came from Madame Olga and she was none too pleased: “I am appalled at your revealing the carefully guarded secrets we in the business use to earn a living. Now, everyone will be getting into the act.

Tom Ewing