#2 Patter, Plots & Scripts author
(Retford, Nottinghamshire, England: 31st August 1902 - 22nd July 1992)
Born into a family of jeweler-watchmakers. Inspired at age 8 seeing Besoni work a kid-show. Learned from box of tricks. Poultry farmer and apiarist (retired). Amateur and major historian and theorist of magic. In 1921 co-founded the Hull and East Riding Magicians' Society and since 1974 the Honorary Vice-President of its successor, the Hull Magicians' Circle. In 1923 invented Sharpe Scissors, "probably the first mini-version of Sawing Through a Woman". MIMC 1936. 1983 AMA Literary Fellowship.
Translator of Hofzinser and Ponsin. Prolific author, including Neo Magic (1932, 130pp; 2nd ed rev 1946, 137pp), Conjured Up (1935), Good Conjuring, Great Magic (reprinted with the two previous in 1938 as Magic Artistry), The Magic Play (1976, 148pp), Oriental Conjuring and Magic (1981, 384pp, with Will Ayling), Salutations to Robert-Houdin (1983, 193pp), Words on Wonder (1984), Conjurers' Optical Secrets (1985, 188pp), Conjurers' Psychological Secrets (1988, 178pp), Devant's Delightful Delusions (1990, 232pp), Conjurer's Hydraulic and Pneumatic Secrets (1990, 160pp), and Conjurer's Mechanical Secrets (1991, 137pp), all important books. Articles (over 200) in Sphinx, Magic Circular, Linking Ring, Midget Magician, etc.
Coauthors: Will Ayling, Jean Nicolas Ponsin, Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser, Ottokar Fischer