Owen … anyone?

We’re very pleased that many of you have visited our online exhibitions. We have received many positive comments about the Stewart James Exhibition and we’re thrilled that many of you are interested in accessing the fifty years of Haxton-James correspondence that form part of it. We certainly understand why as it is a treasure-trove of magic history on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sid Lorraine’s Blog, A Magical Chatterbox, has also attracted a wide audience and, with it, some wonderful spin-offs. Recently, for example, Sid posted his commentary about seeing Owen Clark. This posting drew a response from Christopher Brinson. Christopher, it turns out, is writing a book about Clark.  He writes,

Imagine how delighted I was to discover Sid Lorraine’s Blog describing his meeting with Owen Clark. This was in 1928, and Owen Clark had only a year to live, he died in 1929 from Lobar Pneumonia. A very great inventor/ magician indeed. My research has shown that many of the tricks now considered to be standard pieces of apparatus were in actual fact his invention. For example The Botania, The Break-Away Fan, The Sand Card Frame, The Coin Vase, The Coin Stand, and many many others. His illusions were sensational. The Dream Of Lady Nicotine, and The Flunkey’s Dillema, plus the extraordinary Production of Two Cannon Balls & a Dumbell on an empty stage from a small cloth. His final illusion show in 1920 had ten completely new illusions! (no cabinets used) Alas the bottom dropped out of illusion acts at about this time, and OC was forced to put the act into storage as he could get no work. He performed at Maskelyne’s over 2,000 times.

Christopher, however, could use our help.  He asks,

… do you or any of your collector friends have any little pieces on Owen Clark. I managed to get three personal letters from Mike Caveney, but have found very little in the way of “paper”. One poster from the Magic Circle is all I have been able to find. He did a coast-to-coast tour of the USA in 1913, and a tour of the Antipodes in 1908. But very few pictures or reminiscences seem to have survived.

I would be pleased to hear from anyone at all even with the smallest amount of information.

So, how about it?

Check your files; canvas your collection. Hopefully you will discover something – a card, a letter, a photograph, a playbill – that you can contribute to this project.

If so, you can contact Christopher at christopherbrinson@hotmail.com.

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