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.