"DORNY"

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

Postby Guest » 02/07/06 02:32 PM

Hi to all. I'm new here. What I am trying to find is a bio on Werner F. "Dorny" Dornfeld. He was a magician/MC that worked out of Chicago. Can anyone give me his date of birth/death? Thanks a lot.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 02/07/06 02:40 PM

Go Werner Dornfeld page on our website and you will get a little bio, birth, death.

Best,
Chris....
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 02/07/06 03:03 PM

in The Secret Ways of Al Baker
Edited by Todd Karr
by the end of the book there is a section with profiles :
A Great Guy Dorny
----

and in Gene Gordons Magical Legacy
Copyright 1980 by Gordon Eugene Avery (Gene Gordon) and David Ginn
Page 051 Dorny & the Senator

Not sure if it's what you're looking for..but hope it helps...

Jacky
www.magicbooks.be
The Secret Ways of Al Baker
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 02/07/06 09:24 PM

Martin Gardner was a great friend of Dorny's in Chicago, so there are references to him throughout Gardner's work on magic.

Gardner is still alive, although not very active.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 02/08/06 07:50 AM

Dorny was very active in Chicago magic circles until the end of his life. I met him briefly as a youngster (me not him) at a S.A.M. #3 meeting. Many of the old timers in the Chicago area would have info. on Dorny. I would suggest contacting Magic, Inc. who could probably steer you to many of these folks.
Guest
 

Postby Bill Wells » 02/08/06 11:50 AM

Dorney was member #4 of the I.B.M. and always said he was the first member because the other three guys were officers (the three founders). The 1982 New Orleans I.B.M. Diamond Jubilee convention was dedicated to him. He also suggested that Durbin's "Egyptian Hall" in Kenton, Ohio would be a good place for a magician's convention. His suggestion was heeded and the young I.B.M. held the first ever magic convention in Kenton in 1926. There is a brief bio in the 1982 Convention program.
Bill Wells
User avatar
Bill Wells
 
Posts: 299
Joined: 01/21/08 01:00 PM
Location: Lexington, VA

Postby Pete Biro » 02/08/06 01:52 PM

There is a book (hard cover) written by Dorny. He was an artist too... having done a lot of artwork on silks for magicians. The Bang Gun "BANG" silk on the D.Yip Louie bang guns was drawn by Dorny.

A mummy case in the Museum of Magic in Marshall, MI, was decorated by Dorny.

One night, I was on a layover in Chicago, Jay Marshall said, "Let's go to Dorny's Roast."

So I go. The various celebrities that know him all did bits, etc.

The MC noted that I was in the room. He said, "We have an out of town visitor, Pete Biro... Pete, would you like to say a few things about Dorny?"

I said, "I'd like to, but who the hell is Dorny?"

Later, Dorny told me he thought that was the funniest line of the night.
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby Guest » 02/08/06 02:54 PM

Thanks for the great reply's on Dorny. I have what I need but still like the story's. I have an autograph page from a 1921 Magician's Banquet and he signed "Dorny" PAINLESS MAGIC. I don't know what that is about. All 12 signatures(including Houdini's) I looked up in a 1925 SAM Membership List I acquired recently. Houdini was President that year and he is #109. Dorny was #633. The only one of the 12 I can't find listed with SAM membership is Blackstone (Sr. of coarse). Anyone have any idea why he wouldn't be a member? Thanks again for your help.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 02/08/06 03:14 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
There is a book (hard cover) written by Dorny.
I assume you mean Trix and Chatter .

Chris....
Guest
 

Postby Pete Biro » 02/08/06 03:17 PM

Yessireeeee
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby Guest » 02/08/06 04:57 PM

I think the story is in an old Genii about Dorny visiting Joe Berg's shop one day. Joe is counting out pieces of flash paper and Dorny is across the counter smoking a cigar. One of the ashes from Dorny's cigar drops on the stack of flash paper and there is a huge flash. After a second or two Joe says to Dorny, "What did you do to my flash paper"? Dorny replied, "What flash paper"? Great stuff. Take care all.
Vernon
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 02/08/06 05:30 PM

Bill Smetak donated a large collection of Dorney's props, suitcases and personal items to the museum. Most notably, Girl Without a Middle,painted by Dorney, a Doll House also painted and several green cases which on the inside,is a description on how to pack the props back in the traveling cases.
Guest
 

Postby Pete Biro » 02/08/06 06:53 PM

I've heard the Joe Berg flashpaper story was actually Crandall.
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby Guest » 02/09/06 05:47 PM

I stand corrected, thanks Pete. But what a hell of a story! Was it Dorny that was known as being the "MC" during the early conventions? Was he the one who changed jackets every time he did a intro for each act? Just wondering....you know what they say is the first thing to go......Take care all.
Vernon
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 06/24/06 01:41 PM

For those of you who are MCA members, check out Magicol #134 - Feb, 2000. The issue is a tribute to Dorny with many good articles and pictures.

Dorny was quite a nice artist. I have a hand painted 36 square silk with Dumbo the elephant on. It was given to my great uncle (Jimmy Damon 1896-1979) in 1942. They were good friends for many years.

Cheers, Mark Damon
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 06/25/06 09:50 AM

"Painless Magic," was Dorny's billing in the early days. He certainly was a great guy!
Guest
 

Postby Charles McCall » 06/25/06 08:12 PM

In one of his published tellings of the joke Thurston (and Birch) played on him during prohibition, Dorny claimed never to have touched a drop of alcohol. I'm not sure whether or not he was joking. Can anyone tell me if Dorny was or was not a social drinker?
Charles McCall
Charles McCall
 
Posts: 24
Joined: 01/20/08 01:00 PM
Location: Bakersfield, CA

Postby Guest » 06/27/06 08:06 AM

According to everyone who knew him, Dorny was the best onstage assistant in the world. If you needed a volunteer from the audience, he would come onstage and react like a well-behaved layman.
Guest
 

Postby Tom Klem » 06/27/06 09:40 AM

Here is a small bit of information on Dorny.

During the World's Fair in 1939 the Society of American Magicians held their 1939 National Conference here in New York City. They had several shows connected to the conference based at the Hotel Capitol on 51st Street.

Dorny was the Master of Ceremonies of the "Headlinder Show" May 29th 1939. On the bill was Alladin, Max Holden, the Great Maurice, Al Flosso, Arthur Lloyd, Charles Carrer - juggler, Dai Vernon listed as "Dale", Cardini, Nate Leipzig, Kuma, and Hardeen doing the Houdini Milk Can Escape. Quite a show to MC.

I have the program from this show in my personal collection as well as the Black covered Souvenir Book and Program which has many bios in the back. Unfortunately no bio of Dorny.

Best,

Tom Klem
Historian
Tom Klem
 
Posts: 116
Joined: 02/24/08 01:00 PM
Location: New York City


Return to Magic History and Anecdotes