Spanish Flu pandemic

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
MitsuMatsu
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Location: Yokohama, Japan

Spanish Flu pandemic

Postby MitsuMatsu » April 12th, 2020, 4:56 am

Does anyone know if some magicians were victim of a Spanish flu pandemic a Century ago?

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AJM
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Location: Scotland

Re: Spanish Flu pandemic

Postby AJM » April 12th, 2020, 6:23 am

Yes.
Corner-person Begrudger

Bob Farmer
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Re: Spanish Flu pandemic

Postby Bob Farmer » April 12th, 2020, 10:43 am

My grandfather died in 1919 in that pandemic and I have no plans to follow the family tradition.

MitsuMatsu
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Joined: February 11th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Yokohama, Japan

Re: Spanish Flu pandemic

Postby MitsuMatsu » April 12th, 2020, 10:15 pm

That is so sorrow.
Tenji, a member of Ten-ichi Troupe in Japan, died of Spanish Flu.

Max Maven
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Re: Spanish Flu pandemic

Postby Max Maven » April 13th, 2020, 1:33 am

The English-language magic literature of that era does not contain a lot of information about the Spanish flu in regard to magicians. Most references concern club meetings and shows being postponed or canceled.

A few magicians were identified as having had the illness, but surviving: David Bamberg, Silent Mora, and Paul Fox (all in 1918 or '19). To remind us that such diseases resurge, Len Vintus (co-founder of the IBM) caught it in 1926.

The only reported death I've found was in 1929, a Wisconsin dealer named Johnny Oaks. He was 29 years old.

In the July 1920 issue of Conjurer's Chronicle there is a tone-deaf entry, "The 'Flu' Trick" by Jason Smith, which is a silk routine that features "topical" patter.

MitsuMatsu
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Joined: February 11th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Yokohama, Japan

Re: Spanish Flu pandemic

Postby MitsuMatsu » April 13th, 2020, 5:18 am

Max-san, thank you for your post.
The Spanish flu didn't seem to have had much effect in the magic world. I hope that the effects of the Novel Coronavirus are minimal again. And I hope that theaters will be resumed soon.

Mac Stone
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Joined: September 1st, 2016, 12:07 pm

Re: Spanish Flu pandemic

Postby Mac Stone » April 13th, 2020, 9:38 am

Max,

I wonder how the Spanish Flu affected the entertainment industry and what lessons can be learned from the past to prepare for the future?

Bill Mullins
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Re: Spanish Flu pandemic

Postby Bill Mullins » April 13th, 2020, 12:25 pm

From David Bamberg's biography:
After the Armistice, which Pop and I celebrated in Chinatown, came the great plague of Spanish Influenza. Both Dorothy and I caught it and the house was quarantined and the customers stayed away in droves. One day, Thurston, who had just undergone a newfangled operation for having his jowls lifted, came to the house to display his new found beauty, but when he was told that we had the "flu," he did the fastest vanishing act of his career.


I never knew that Thurston had had a face lift.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Spanish Flu pandemic

Postby Bill Mullins » April 13th, 2020, 12:45 pm

From Billboard, 11/2/1918
The Great Blackstone, in the midst of preparations for his week at the Grand Opera House in Brooklyn, was compelled to cancel the engagement on account of an attack of influenza. He is slowly recovering.

Presumably this was the Spanish Flu.

Max Holden's wife died of influenza in late 1918. Silent Mora caught it, but recovered, as did Paul Fox.

Leonard Hevia
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Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
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Re: Spanish Flu pandemic

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 13th, 2020, 1:51 pm

Houdini may have caught it as well in late 1918 early 1919. At least according to Dr. Wilson.


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