who are the men in this old photo???

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Tabman » 12/05/03 11:32 AM

recently i found an old photo i had in my okito collection (when i had a collection)that i couldnt bring myself to part with. ive sent copies of the photo out to several folks and so far we've not been able to identify two of the folks. richard hatch and pete biro have come up with the best answers so far and richard is pretty sure that its from the 1947 S.A.M. convention in chicago. if you are historically inclined i invite you to take a look at the photo by clicking the link below and see who you recognize. also what do you think these gents are looking at we wonder???? click here to see the photo
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Postby Guest » 12/05/03 11:43 AM

I think I see Harlan Tarbell, Bert Allerton, Jack Gywnne, and maybe Walter B. Gibson, in the group.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 12/05/03 12:02 PM

Maybe Hugard and Tannen?
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Postby Matthew Field » 12/05/03 12:52 PM

I agree with Diego. From the left,

1. Bert Allerton
2. Jean Hugard
4. Walter Gibson
8. Lou Tannen (? not sure)
9. Harlan Tarbell


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Postby Kevin Connolly » 12/05/03 01:38 PM

Boy! If Bert Allerton doesn't look like a bank auditor, no one does. :D
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Postby Max Maven » 12/05/03 02:16 PM

1. Bert Allerton
2. Jean Hugard
3. John Braun
4. ?
5. Walter Gibson
6. Theo Bamberg
7. Jack Gwynne
8. Arthur Buckley
9. Harlan Tarbell
10. might be Edgar Bergen
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Postby Guest » 12/05/03 05:00 PM

#4 is Sid Lorraine
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Postby Matthew Field » 12/05/03 06:54 PM

Ya gotta love Max Maven. Wotta guy.

Good work, John Arledge!

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Postby Guest » 12/05/03 09:07 PM

Looks as if all have been identified except #10. It is not Edgar Bergen, but have no idea who it is. Who is still living from that era and would know ?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/05/03 09:17 PM

I don't know why Tabby didn't mention this, but before he posted the link here, not only did I identify all the same guys as Max, but I also noted that it was probably in Chicago, and probably in the 1940s.
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Postby Tabman » 12/05/03 09:53 PM

richard kaufman is of course one of the authorities that i regularly consult when i have burning questions like this and of course he knew the answers along with hatch, biro and maven. now john has supplied us with one of the two missing links at number 4. now, i never want to steal anyones thunder so i hesitate to say this but since mr hatch is staying quiet ill tell you that he has arranged through his confidential sources to run a copy of the photo under the one and only mr. jay marshall's nose tomorrow. he if doesnt know who the guy on the right is then nobody living does. ill leave it to richard hatch to tell the story of the lighting fixture!!!!
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/05/03 11:32 PM

Tabmeister, thanky for crediting us sleuths... I gotta bo back and look at that last guy on the right end. :confused:
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/05/03 11:36 PM

Looking at the photo again, we all missed that one eyeball in the back row... could be Chick Schokie (sp?) or Jack Chanin. No. 4 may be a young Sid Lorraine. What do you think Max? I do not think the last guy on the right is Bergen, too tall.
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Postby Richard Hatch » 12/05/03 11:49 PM

Pete, you're right. It sure looks like Max's eyebrow to me peeking over John Braun's shoulder! How'd you do that Max? You weren't even born!
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 12/06/03 09:19 AM

The guy with the eye was Dr. Ben Dover. He was a proctologist that liked magic. He is credited with inventing the thumb tip. :eek:
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/06/03 10:03 AM

The real Ben Dover was (maybe still is) a juggler. :D
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 12/06/03 10:28 AM

Took the pic to a shadowy friend who claims to know more about the JFK assassination than Oliver Stone, who is a CIA-type guy and photo expert. He did the blow-up analysis, plus enhancement, to check out the name tags. There are five in view. The logo suggests SAM (not IBM) convention. The wallpaper and decor are in keeping with the Morrison Hotel in Chicago. Checking the relative age-appearance of guys like John Braun, who was born in 1896, and judging by other photos snapped during his lifetime, he looks to be early 50s. Same applies to Sid Lorraine, who was born in 1905.Therefore, this pic was probably snapped somewhere between 1952-56. This is also in keeping with the eye-glasses and necktie styles.

The pen in Tarbell's left breast pocket is an Easterbrook. The cigarette in Okito's left hand is unfiltered and an "L" shows on the cigarette paper (though very faint), suggesting that he was smoking a Camel.

The fourth figure between Braun and Lorraine was not there when the pic was snapped. This is a doctored pic because the textures and other details do not match. The position of his right eye is not focussed on the camera man.

Oddly enough, in candid shots like this, Allerton always had a furtive look, as though he was being arraigned.

My expert pointed out that none of the posers were looking at the camera man. The shadow of the chandelier cues the direction the pic was shot.

The resolution of the camera also suggested that this was done with a quality, press-type camera.

The mystery-man to the far right, the tallest man of the group, was not part of the primary group.

Otherwise everyone else is identified.

Who "doctored" this pic is the real mystery.
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Postby Bob L » 12/06/03 10:31 AM

I think the presence of the shadowy figure in the background just proves that -- as many of us have suspected over the years -- Phil Goldstein is MUCH older than Max Maven.
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Postby Guest » 12/06/03 12:53 PM

I happened to save this picture as soon as it was posted. The photograph I have saved to my hard drive has no "mystery man." It has only ten men, no "one-eyeballed man." This means that someone with access to the server uploaded an edited picture between December 5 and last night (December 6, when Pete mentioned the presence of the eleventh person).

The photograph that was there when the link was originally posted has now been uploaded to my website. Here's the link:

http://www.obsolite.com/okitopic.jpg
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Postby Matthew Field » 12/06/03 01:07 PM

Excellent detectiv work, RoatC.

I can narrow down the time when the doctored picture was posted.

In my response, at 11:52 AM "Genii time," I identified #4 as Walter Gibson. When Max Maven posted his list at 1:16 PM, he listed Gibson as #5. So the doctored photo was posted in that 84 minute period.

Both photos were on Tabman's server, not Genii's.

What say, Tabby?

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Postby Guest » 12/06/03 01:12 PM

I'm not sure the Tabmeister is to blame for this, folks. My money's on Rose Mary Woods.
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Postby Guest » 12/06/03 01:52 PM

Someone's fooling with us, because the mystery man is now gone, but the tall one on the right is wearing a pair of sunglasses, and David Blaine has sneaked in between Arthur Buckley and Harlan Tarbell.
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Postby Tabman » 12/06/03 02:40 PM

you guys are the greatest. thats why i love magic so much, its the people. after my son left i have been depressed for a few years and digging out my magic memories and finding the genii bbs has put a smile on my face and its been awhile. thanks so much to everyone. i wasnt "fooling" with anyone of course and max maven certainly knows how i feel about him. ive been having a heck of a time matching the skin tones in this old photo though. ill put the original back up tonight sometime. its a great photo. maybe jay marshall will know who the mystery man in shades is. best to everyone with love and respect!!!
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Postby John Smetana » 12/06/03 05:16 PM

That was fun Tabman..very refreshing. Sometimes I think we get a little too serious anyway. Remember-It's not important to be serious..just be serious about important things.

Best thoughts,
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Postby Tabman » 12/06/03 08:08 PM

thank you mr. smetana, im glad you enjoyed it. it was designed to be fun and to be interesting as well as mystereous. i have restored the original photo on my server as well as the one with max maven looking over john braun's shoulder (mr racherbaumer's comments - excellent!!!) and the one with the mystery man wearing a pair of cool sunglasses. never has there been one with david blaine involved as i do not know mr blaine!! here are links to the three pictures.

click here for the original photo
click here for the one with max
click here for pic with mystery man in sunglasses

Steve's comment about rose mary woods - very funny!!! gotta love it when you can get a laugh!!! truly there are a lot of great folks involved here. thank you so much!!!

stay tooned!!!(tm - biro)

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Postby Steve V » 12/06/03 09:09 PM

Is it true that Max Maven was able to determine the names of the men w/out looking at the photo?
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Postby Keith Raygor » 12/06/03 10:22 PM

Tabman,
Thanks for the history.
Also, the transcripts of MAGIC! BBS are a delight to read through. Is there a chance you'll ever put up the next few batches that may take us into '92 or '93?
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Postby CHRIS » 12/07/03 02:33 AM

This might be a long long shot. I looked through all the Who is Who of the Sphinx which show a little portrait of each listed. I tried to find a photo that resembles the mystery man. I didn't find anything that was a clear match but somehow the photo of Cecil Kennedy Browning bears some resemblance.

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Postby Matthew Field » 12/07/03 06:27 AM

Tabman -- what a hoot! I've got 2 feet of snow outside and your post made me laugh out loud. What a treat. Many thanks.

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Postby Guest » 12/07/03 08:10 AM

Now... what's the deal with the lighting fixture??? --Asrah
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Postby gfajuri » 12/08/03 08:50 AM

And now, to answer the mystery of mysteries:

The mystery man on the far right side of the picture is none other than Dave Coleman of Terre Haute, Indiana. Coleman toured the US (mostly working club dates) with his wife Pauline. The act was billed as "Coleman's Oddities," and in addition to magic, Dave presented a medicine pitch as "Doc Hokum" (not necessarily as part of the Oddities act). The feature of the Coleman act was setting an anvil on Pauline's bare midriff and breaking a concrete block on top of the anvil with a sledgehammer. To add an element of danger to the effect (as if it already wansn't bad enough), the anvil had around 100 metal spiked welded to it. The spikes were what rested against Pauline's bare stomach!

An audience volunteer would be enlisted to wield the sledgehammer and break the concrete block. I've seen a picture somewhere (the Sphinx?) of Milbourne Christopher doing the honors at a magic convention. I have a great photo of the act (with sledgehammer in mid-swing) at a 1936(!) Abbott's Get-Together, in the middle of the street on a raised platform.

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Postby Tabman » 12/08/03 07:14 PM

"The mystery man on the far right side of the picture is none other than Dave Coleman of Terre Haute, Indiana." thats great gabe!!!! im not familiar with coleman. how did you figure this out??? is there any chance you might share that photo of coleman with us???
congratulations!!!
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Postby gfajuri » 12/09/03 07:48 AM

Tabman,

I'll have to dig out the photo. If/when I do, I'll post it.

Coleman was a very active magician in the 1940's and 1950's, and I've run across his name and picture in a variety of places. He spent a lot of time in the road corresponding with friends, and a few years back I had a chance to read hundreds of letters he exchanged with Doc Mahendra.

Best,

Gabe
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Postby Richard Hatch » 12/11/03 06:18 PM

Hold everything... How confident are we about Sid Lorraine being the 4th guy? According to Jay Marshall it is Sam Berman (not Berland)... He didn't ID Coleman, but thought that Nick Tomei would know who it was...
This information courtesy of David Meyer who met with Jay and showed him the photo...
So, Lorraine or Berman? I'm voting with the Dean myself...
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/11/03 08:43 PM

Hey, Jay only has ONE EYE... would you believe him???

Altho it may well be Berman... looks a little to fat-jawed to be Sid, creator of the Slop Shuffle.
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Postby CHRIS » 12/12/03 06:52 AM

I found 3 photos of Dave Coleman in The Sphinx on pages v45 n8 p242, v46 n9 p279. There are no photos of Sam Berman only two trick entries. There are photos of Sid Lorraine.

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Postby Pete Biro » 12/12/03 10:24 AM

So you found pix of Coleman, do they look like the guy in question?
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Postby CHRIS » 12/12/03 11:33 AM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
So you found pix of Coleman, do they look like the guy in question?
I am not 100% sure but I would say that Gabe is most likely correct. The problem is that they are all from different angles and one is with beard. If I find the time this weekend I will upload the images and link to them so you can draw your own conclusions.

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