(Courtesy Matthew Crabtree)

A Special Update (September 2013)

NEW! Many thanks to Houston-based magician and fellow magic history aficionado Matthew Crabtree, twice past president of IBM Ring 189, for sending along the above scans of a promotional postcard put out by Johnny in the mid-1930s. (Matthew's new website will be linked HERE.) I've not come across it before. Matthew found it as an unexpected bonus in a recent eBay purchase of some old magic books. It turned up as a bookmark in a 1937 edition of Jean Hugard's "Silken Sorcery" which would most likely date it before that year. I especially love the line "... and he is not expensive". That is so Johnny's style of humour. Both pragmatic and self-deprecating.

Joseph Giordmaine comments: "It was fascinating to see this publicity postcard, with its great press notices, for the first time. It's in such a different style than Dad's later ad items, after he had become very well known . . . The photo in the ad [originally] appears in the March 8, 1930 Daily Star, on the occasion of Dad's election as President of the Toronto Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians . . .

I agree with your mid 30's estimate. That's consistent with the family's move to Westminster Ave around 1935, and also the unfamiliar "not expensive" wording. It's also possible that it is an earlier ad (late 20's or early 30's) updated with a new address (different font). Also "Comedy magic entertainer" is used rather than "Gay Magician", which was being used in Eaton Toyland ads as early as 1934.

The card is a great find . . .! Thanks also to Matthew who contributed it. I'm delighted to have it."


So - the postcard (above) would seem to be a rare promotional item produced some time between 1935 and 1937 but incorporating earlier elements such as (at least) the photograph (from 1930). And as Joseph says, what a great find, indeed!

Coming up next... our annual Holidays update for 2013 featuring previously unpublished photos of Johnny and a brand new original remembrance written especially for this site...