Universal Society of Magicians

Universal Society of Magicians

The Universal Society of Magicians came along on 28th January 1917 and was again a short-lived club. Its doors closed for the last time in 1918.

The men responsible for the setting up of the club were Capt. R.S.H.Townsend (President), William Morgan (Secretary), and Eugene Devoe (Vice President). Members included Mr J. Kilpatrick, Leslie Maxwell, Rex Regent, Rex Miller, Fred Hengler, Louden Palmer, Carl Hengler, Arnold De Biere, Allan Peterson, Cyril Williams, Walford Bodie and James Cameron.

First meetings were held in the Gaiety Theatre, Clydebank (later to be renamed The Bank Cinema). J. Kilpatrick was manager of the Theatre at that time.

The meetings were held in the new H.Q on first and third Sundays of each month starting at 6-30pm. Later the club moved to new premises in The Central Halls, 25 Bath Street, Glasgow.

The Society was probably the first Scottish magical club to issue its own magical magazine which was entitled Magical Searchlight. On the back page on issue one it states "The Journal of the Universal Society of Magicians.

Only one issue of the magazine was published on September 1917 and forty copies printed. The magazine was hand written and copied on a cyclo machine.

This was the forerunner of the duplicating machine. The cyclo was loaned by Leslie Maxwell. The Editor was James Cameron. The front cover was reminiscent of Stanyons Magic Magazine cover. The magazine tells of a visit to Glasgow by Fred Hengler and also of the show by Dr.Walford Bodie in the Lyceum Theatre in Glasgow. It had space for some magical effects to be explained.

There are no explanations for the club being wound up.

The Sphinx Aug.1920 last par of GSM report page 171.
The Magical Searchlight September 1917 issue 1
Glasgow Sunday Mail October/November 1929 by Mrs Bodie.
The Magic Wand Volume 7 No 8 page 13, No 9 page 139
No 10 page 164