#NoHairSelfie Update

It’s Gone!

David Ben’s hair has vanished thanks to your support.

David Ben No Hair Selfie

David Ben’s #NoHairSelfie campaign concluded yesterday, February 4, 2016 with a public shaving at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. With some last-minute donations arriving by mail, the total has now passed $214,000 raised for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

As promised earlier, donors who requested our Unusual Collectible your hair will be in the mail very soon. We’ve also learned that the cards will be signed by Pat Lyons, the artists who designed them.

For those wishing to verify the authenticity of the hair, you can watch it being severed below. The shaver is Gary Slaight, son of Allan Slaight.

For those that still want to get their hands on one of the collectibles, we will be happy to extend you the opportunity to donate. Send us a note ( and we will make arrangements.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to the campaign and offer our encouragement to David as he endeavours to expand his collection of hats to help cope with the Canadian winter; something a hairless Conjuror was clearly not designed for.


The Story of the Blaney Ladder Levitation

Walter “Zaney” Blaney performs his Ladder Levitation for the very last time in Chicago in 2010 at the Magic Collectors Weekend.

Walter “Zaney” Blaney, one of our most memorable speakers at the Magic Collectors Weekend in Chicago, revisits his talk on the History of the Ladder Levitation in this video chapter from the documentary series (by Timothy Drake), “Still Zaney After All These Years”.

In 2010, we were not only treated to Walter’s wonderful talk about the history of his world-famous Ladder Levitation, but also witnessed the very last performance of this legendary illusion. It was the hit of the convention.

In this clip, Walter tells the story about the illusion’s evolution with guest appearances by David Copperfield, Lance Burton, James Dimmare, Jeff McBride, Peter Reveen, Steve Dacri, Mike Caveney, Julie Eng, Becky Blaney and Stan Allen.


Adele, Blackstone’s Elusive Moth


Rory Feldman shares a wonderful moment and video of one of his recent adventures…in his words:

A while back, I discovered that I had an original film reel of the Blackstone Sr. Show. Over the weekend, at the Yankee Gathering (November 6-8, 2014), I video taped Adele Friel Rhindress watching the silent video and describing the various acts in the show — including the only known video record of her own Elusive Moth act!

Adele is one of my favorite people and a great friend. Adele was “Blackstone’s Elusive Moth” when she traveled, as a teenager, with Harry Blackstone Sr. in the 1940s.



Magic Kettle & Jay Palmer

Jay Palmer

Jay Palmer and The Magic Kettle Act c 1930. State Library of Victoria

We recently received an interesting email from Mike (Miguel) from Portugal. He has a curious question… any of you know the answer?!

From Miguel Melo….

I study the history of magic. I am looking for a few years now for information on a magician named Jay Palmer (Palmer and Doreen). I know that he used to perform back in the 50s a bar act where several drinks were poured from his kettle…

The magic kettle is part of my show today and I have read a lot about the effect and it’s history. Jay Palmer’s bar act is the only one I do not know about. My father (Allen Tipton) knew Val Andrews and Val knew Jay Palmer but sadly, he never got to ask him about Jay’s methods for his routine!

I tried for a few years to track down info about it but all I have is a few articles on Jay Palmer.

I would like to know if someone knows about him or who has his kettle now… or if anyone has seen him doing the act live… if not, if you could recommend someone that I could talk with about it.

I would appreciate any help on this one since I am very interested!

Best wishes,



Which C.O. Williams?


Unidentified CO Williams – do you know which one he is?

Old postcard of Charles Oswald Williams courtesy of Steve from

Old photo of Charles Oswald Williams courtesy of “Many Faces of Magic” exhibition on the Conjuring Arts Research

We are on the hunt for the identification of this magician from our Postcards of Magicians exhibition.

Joe Pecore, from MagicPedia, has kindly pointed out that there are 2 C.O. Williams.

One was Charles Oswald Williams, a magician from Cardiff, UK and the other, Carl Orton Williams, the founding secretary of the Australian Society of Magicians.

Joe has since started working with Steve from to try and identify our postcard. Steve has graciously sent Joe an old photo of Charles Oswald’s letterhead from the “Many Faces” exhibition from the Conjuring Arts Research Centre to try and match with our unidentified magician — however, we are still scratching our heads trying to figure this one out!

If you think you know which C.O. Williams is featured on this postcard, please let us know by leaving a comment below.

Don’t forget to tour our Postcards of Magicians exhibition, now with mini biographies courtesy of MagicPedia.



Wild About Harry: Making “The Great Houdinis”

Harry Blackstone Jr. helps prepare Paul Michael Glaser for the Milk Can escape (Photo by Patrick Culliton, Genii)

Harry Blackstone Jr. helps prepare Paul Michael Glaser for the Milk Can escape (Photo by Patrick Culliton, Genii)

To kick off our late harvest of blog entries, it seems fitting that our first fall entry begin with our new guest blogger, John Cox, who has graciously allowed us to share his findings and love of everything Houdini – because John is just Wild About Harry! As October 31st is fast approaching and the anniversary of Houdini’s death, we thought John’s findings on the escape artist would be a proper tribute to his legendary life.

John Cox is clearly Wild About Houdini.  He is an American screenwriter, author and a recognized authority on Houdini. A great fan of the escape artist, John has made it his personal mission to continuously unearth and share interesting facts about Houdini, including (amongst plenty others) where the 1976 ABC TV movie, “The Great Houdini” was filmed.

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