The Harrie Ensor Scrapbooks

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Kent Blackmore
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Location: Sydney Australia
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The Harrie Ensor Scrapbooks

Postby Kent Blackmore » February 18th, 2018, 9:28 pm

Harrie Ensor, Australian magician, and one of Australia’s earliest magic collectors, left behind a remarkable set of thirteen loose-leaf scrapbooks containing photographs, programme notes, biographical information and promotional material about magicians from the late 1800s to the 1960s.

These books, carefully preserved but unseen since Ensor’s death in 1967, are now being scanned in full, to be shared with magicians worldwide. While not all is scarce (there are clippings from "Sphinx" magazines, for instance), there is a lot of fascinating data.

You can check out the first two complete volumes here http://sydneymagic.net/ENSOR/ensor.html

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Marco Pusterla
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Re: The Harrie Ensor Scrapbooks

Postby Marco Pusterla » February 19th, 2018, 3:20 am

Many thanks, Kent, for sharing these scrapbooks! It's really an amazing project and the material is of great interest to magic historians!
Marco Pusterla - http://www.mpmagic.com

Ye Olde Magic Mag: magic history and collecting magazine.

Kent Blackmore
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Sydney Australia
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Re: The Harrie Ensor Scrapbooks

Postby Kent Blackmore » February 19th, 2018, 5:56 am

Thanks Marco; I'm excited to be able to read and publish these. Volume 3 has just gone up, and for the historians, it has two pages (6/7) of biographical information on Phil Davies, the mechanist to Chung Ling Soo, which does not appear in my late friend Brian McCullagh's book "Chung Ling Soo's Mechanists - They Stayed Behind".

Kent Blackmore
Posts: 85
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Sydney Australia
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Re: The Harrie Ensor Scrapbooks

Postby Kent Blackmore » February 26th, 2018, 8:45 pm

The scrapbooks are going up at a cracking pace - Volume 9 of 13 has just been put online, and has some very rare material.

The "Fakir of Oolu" was Alfred Silvester (1831-1886), a professional photographer and exhibitor in England, a claimant to be the inventor of the iconic "Pepper's Ghost" illusion, and creator of a method for removing both poles in Robert-Houdin's 'Aerial Suspension' or 'broomstick suspension'. He came to Australia and lived here till 1886. You can read about him in Waller's "Magical Nights at the Theatre" and Bernard Reid's "Conjurors, Cardsharps and Conmen" does a thorough job of documenting the family histroy.

Two generations of his descendants (they were also called Alfred, which makes it very tricky to distinguish which is which!) followed in his footsteps as magicians in Australia, sometimes using the "Oolu" stagename.
In Vol.9 of the Ensor scrapbooks there are 40+ pages of family photographs, covering all three generations, with biographical information gleaned directly from the family. It is believed that most of these photos have not been published before.
http://sydneymagic.net/ENSOR/ensor.html

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Q. Kumber
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Location: Manchester, England

Re: The Harrie Ensor Scrapbooks

Postby Q. Kumber » February 27th, 2018, 3:41 am

Thank you Mr. Blackmore for uploading these.
Australia seems to have attracted all the world's top acts - certainly with magicians.

What a debt we owe to Charles Waller (Magical Nights at the Theatre) and Harrie Ensor.


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