It’s only January, but if you’re already champing at the bit to fill up your travel schedule, here’s an early heads up for an event in November. The New England Magic Collectors Association is hosting its Yankee Gathering XVII in Westborough, Mass., on November 15-17. The biennial event places a focus on memorabilia and artifacts, giving it a different twist than many other magic weekends. After all, how many conventions also host their own flea market?
Not much is available yet in terms of the schedule and exhibitors, but we do know that Mike Caveney will be the guest of honor. In addition to being a professional performer and owner of the Magic Words company, Caveney currently owns the Egyptian Hall Museum, one of the oldest private magic museums in the U.S. Attendees of Genii Convention 2017 might also recognize Caveney from his talk shedding light on some incredible slivers of nearly-lost magic history.
If that sounds like your brand of playing cards, then bookmark the NEMCA website and stay tuned for more information. Registration will be capped at 200 attendees, and more details are due in “early 2018.”
Magic historian and Genii Magazine columnist Mike Caveney gave a fascinating history lesson at Genii Convention 2017. In his hour-long talk, he explored two specific pieces of correspondence that have come into his possession, both of which fill in some of the gaps that would otherwise go unfilled.
One such letter was from Robert Smithson to a newspaper reporter. Smithson was an otherwise insignificant magicians in the grand scheme of history, but he was present on the night Chung Ling Soo was infamously shot dead during his bullet catching routine in 1918. Smithson noted that something didn’t feel right that night, and he suspected the botched trick to actually be a suicide. The story went unprinted for years, and would have been lost to time, had Caveney not found and archived it.
Or this weird story: When famed Alexander Herrmann died, H.B. Hargett and a handful of other magicians attempted to take an inkprint of his palm. This was, of course, unbeknownst to Herrmann’s wife, Adelaide, who walked in on the magicians attempting to make this print. Hargett hastily scrawled out a message, describing how they were going to use his hand print in a book called New Dimensions in Palmistry, and they would be happy to make a copy for Adelaide. Extremely normal.
In addition to detailing these letters, Caveney gave us a brief history of the Egyptian Hall Museum and how he came into possession of all these fascinating pieces of ephemera. You can read more about these bits of his collection and other notes from history in his monthly column ‘Classic Correspondence’ in Genii Magazine.