The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Who was Norman? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
chanor
View Profile
Regular user
New York City
168 Posts

Profile of chanor
Bought this from a midwestern USA antique shop. Who was he? There was also a 20th century English magician named Norman whose identity is a mystery.

Click here to view attached image.
Damon
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of Damon
Hi chanor,

Can you give us a little more information such as where is the Midwest you purchase it? I'm just guessing, but he was probably a local semi-professional magician from that area. If I know where the poster came from, I may be able to ask, or steer you to someone in that area that could help.

The only Norman here in the states that I came across is a fellow by the name of Karl Norman from Buffalo, NY. He was a semi-professional magician that performed kids shows and close-up slight of hand (according to Whaley’s Who’s Who). Not sure if he would have had a poster, or have gone by Norman The Wizard or not?

There are a few British magicians with the name Norman, two that you may have heard of are, Anthony Norman, who wrote Basic Card Technique, and Norman Hazeldene (The Great Norman) who invented The Hippity-Hop Rabbits trick.

Regards, Mark Damon
chanor
View Profile
Regular user
New York City
168 Posts

Profile of chanor
Thanks, Mark. The poster came from Ohio. That doesn't mean the magician did.
Chanor
Spellbinder
View Profile
Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
6438 Posts

Profile of Spellbinder
I'd like to know more about "The Great Norman" who was the inventor of the "Hippity Hop Rabbits." At least that's what the ads say, but who was he? Jack Hughes apparently took his idea and improved on it, but does that mean Norman was English? The trail runs cold after the mention of his name.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Damon
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of Damon
Hello Chanor and Spellbinder,

The source for my post above (and the info below) was Bart Whaley’s Who’s Who in Magic, and his Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic. Very little is said about Norman Hazeldene (England: 1885-1975) other than he was a lithographer by trade, and a semi-professional magician going by “The Great Norman”.

I also misspoke in my above post, his invention he actually called “The Elusive Rabbits”. It was first marketed in England by Harry Stanley, and later Supreme and under license in the USA by Abbott’s as, “The Hippity-Hop Rabbits”. Whaley also states that by 1987 it was Abbott’s all time best selling trick. Hope this sheds a little more light on things.

Not sure exactly how Jack Hughes fits into the picture, unless it’s through his association with Harry Stanley and Arthur Dowler when Elusive Rabbits was first marketed, which is very possible. I am by no means an expert here, and Hughes certainly could have had some input, I just don’t know for sure, I’m only passing along the little I’ve read and looked up, and Hughes wasn’t mentioned with the trick anywhere. Below is a site I came across that might be of interest.

http://www.magictricks.com/library/invented.htm

Sorry Chanor, back to the Norman The Wizard poster. I will keep searching and hope to come up with something for you.

Regards, Mark Damon
Spellbinder
View Profile
Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
6438 Posts

Profile of Spellbinder
Thanks, Mark. That is much more information that I had before and it enabled me to include The Great Norman in his rightful place on my Brief Biographies of Magic Inventors, giving credit to you and your sources, along with my public thanks.


Now if someone can only come up with a photograph.....

I really need to have someone who has Bart Whaley's references do a thorough check on my bios to make sure they are all accurate, but that's a big job I realize. Still, if anyone can make even small contributions of information from time to time, that is something for which I would be very appreciative, and I'm sure others would too, when it comes time to look up sources for their latest magic gizmos.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Damon
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of Damon
Just me again,

Spellbinder, I stand corrected. I just found your website that discusses Jack Hughes, and his association to the trick. Thanks for your input, it made me dig a deeper and learn a little more about the trick.

Regards, Mark

Link: http://www.magicnook.com/forum/bioHIJ.htm
Spellbinder
View Profile
Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
6438 Posts

Profile of Spellbinder
That is my Web-site, Mark and if you'll scroll up from Jack Hughes to the new entry for Norman Hazeldene, you'll see your name listed as a contributor, so it is I that must thank YOU once again!
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Damon
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of Damon
I will be happy to do what I can to look things over and suggest updates and additions if I can, giving full credit too my sources for you. Sure looks like you’ve put in a lot of hard work on your website, it’s wonderful!! It will now be on my list of must check references when looking thing up. Having the pictues with the bio's is a great touch as well!!

Hope someone can chime in here with info on "Norman The Wizard" for Chanor, and your site!

Mark

P.S. Thanks for the credit by the way!
JimMaloney
View Profile
Inner circle
1184 Posts

Profile of JimMaloney
Based on my searches, I believe that the man the original poster is looking for is R.N. Menge. In addition to performing as "Norman the Wizard" he also went by "Menge the Magic Maker". For a while he lived in Hot Springs, Arkansas, but in 1944 he moved Columbus, Ohio and began a partnership with U.F. Grant which lasted more than a decade. In addition to his mail order business in Arkansas, he organized "Norman's Wizard's Club" and sent out a newsletter called "Norman's News," though this ceased upon his move to Columbus. He also published a pamphlet called "The Wizard's Wonder Book." Menge died around 1957/58.

-Jim
Books and Magazines for sale -- more than 200 items (Last updated January 17th, 2014. Link goes to public Google Doc.)
Spellbinder
View Profile
Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
6438 Posts

Profile of Spellbinder
I think you've nailed it, Jim! Congratulations! I've added R.N. Menge to my biographies, and Chanor's poster will just have to do for a photo of him for now. I've credited both of you and await your approval and anything else you can add to the listing.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Damon
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of Damon
Bingo,

Thanks for your post Jim. I did a search through my old Linking Ring's and found a nice article in the September 1944 issue on Grant and Menge entitled “Miracles For Sale”. Jim and Chanor, if you would like a scan of the article, PM me your email address and I will send it off to you. Spellbinder, your copy is being sent within the hour, should give you some nice additional information on both Grant and Menge.

Cheers all, Mark

P.S. Now with the name Menge, I found his listing in Whaley's book. He gives the year of death as 1958. No birth year listed. I will keep hunting to find an obituary.
Spellbinder
View Profile
Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
6438 Posts

Profile of Spellbinder
Mark: The September 1944 Linking Ring article that you e-mailed me has Menge's birthday in it- 1908. 1958 is probably correct for the year of his death. The obituary "mention" in the 1957 Genii Magazine article was actually published in 1958, Genii having become famous for being several months late.

Thanks again for your helpful information.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
chanor
View Profile
Regular user
New York City
168 Posts

Profile of chanor
Thank you, Jim, for solving this mystery. Bravo! I won't have to turn to The History Detectives (The History Channel) which was my next step.
The next problem is the identity of Britain's "The Great Norman." He is the originator of "Atta-boy" and "Discus," the horizontal version of that effect. The knowledgeable John Mendoza has no idea of who he was.
My instructions for Discus were printed by Supreme magic, Bideford, Devon and state "The Great Norman undoubedly is one of magic's greatest originators...He is still with us, a very old man still with a very active magical mind..We are delighted to have secured from Norman, as we announced in 'The Magigram' some time back, the exclusive rights on his fine material."
Any takers?
Chanor
JimMaloney
View Profile
Inner circle
1184 Posts

Profile of JimMaloney
As was mentioned above, The Great Norman is Norman Hazeldene. He died on July 2nd, 1975. Among his creations were Elusive Rabbits and Discus.

-Jim
Books and Magazines for sale -- more than 200 items (Last updated January 17th, 2014. Link goes to public Google Doc.)
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24221 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
I may be wrong about this, but I don't think so. If you check your Abbott's catalogues, you will see the trick listed as "Hippy Hop Rabbits." The extra syllable seems to be a verbal add-in.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Spellbinder
View Profile
Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
6438 Posts

Profile of Spellbinder
That may be, but in Abbotts' Genii Advertisements from the 50's on, they are called "Hippity Hop Rabbits," and Abbotts even added a variation of their own to make a "Flippity Flop Rabbit."

In any case, Hippity Hop seems to have won the magic public's heart as a name.

I used to love telling how one rabbit was named Hippity and the other was named Hoppity, and Hoppity went Hippity Hop, while Hippity went Hoppity Hip. The magic words for making them change places were "Hippity Hop Hoppity Hip" that all the kids would learn to yell out.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Damon
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of Damon
Maybe they called it Hippy in the 60’s? Sorry for the bad joke, it was just too easy to pass up.

I’m thinking it was probably a catalog typo, although with two letters missing, and if it appears in multiple catalogs, it makes you wonder? However, the first mention of the trick in magic periodicals that I’ve found is in the May 1947 issue of the Sphinx, immediately after Abbott’s acquired the US rights for the trick, and it is clearly called Hippity Hop Rabbits both in the large Abbott’s four page ad section, and the Miracles For Sale monthly column of new tricks in the same issue. All subsequent Abbott’s ads in the Sphinx until its demise also call it Hippity Hop. I have located no other references in print calling it Hippy Hop other than the above-mentioned catalogs (which are obviously important) however; I’d lean towards a typo in their catalogs.

Anyone out there have a copy of the original Abbott’s instructions from the late 40’s? That may be the best corroboration to the name.

Regards, Mark
Damon
View Profile
Regular user
108 Posts

Profile of Damon
Found one more interesting source, Abbott’s own publication Tops magazine. From the first mention of the trick in their May 1947 issue it is called Hippity-Hop Rabbits.

Hope this helps.

Merry Christmas all, Mark
Tony James
View Profile
Inner circle
Cheshire UK
1398 Posts

Profile of Tony James
Interestuing. Being busy over the December period I missed all this.

Norman lived round the corner from me. I didn't know him. He was a loner and like many of that ilk produced some good ideas through independent thought.

He came up with a lot. He made for Chung Ling Soo, Dante, Mephisto and Goldin among others. There's a whole chapter of his items in one of Will Goldston's Locked Books.

I don't suppose we'll ever find the truth of his business dealings and who paid Norman how much, how often and for what.

I think someone was right on a post above when they associated him with the early Stanley/Dowler/ Hughes/Leany combo. That was after the war and it broke up. Harry Stanley went off with the Unique title and ran that, Jack Hughes set up on his own as did Gil Leaney.

I'm fairly certain Norman retained his copyright because towards the end (c1970) he needed money and Edwin, who by then had absorbed Unique (and later certain of Jack Hughes's business) came up here to see Norman and bought the rights outright for cash.

Presumably Norman had been getting some sort of manufactoring agreement payments but by that time Unique was gone. So he probably wasn't getting anything at all. And his wife was ill and sadly died.

He'd stopped performing long before I came here so I never saw him work. He was a well known name but not being a mixer few people knew him.

This isn't strange. Others round here kept to themselves and didn't join or mix. I didn't myself.

What Edwin Hooper and Supreme Magic ended up with was Elusive Rabbits, Attaboy, Card Go, Cuban Release, Discus, Improved Disecto, Bang Pistol and other items I'm not certain about.

Sorry - whether that poster has anything to do with Norman I can't tell you. I only know that Will Goldston said he was a lone wolf never seeking the limelight. He didn't conform to anything but always got somewhere. And that all the greats had patronised his early work.

I have one of his early Bang Guns. It's like new, a work of art, mahogany and brass and a delight to use on rare occasions.

And that's all I can tell you about a man and near neighbour who kept himself to himself.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Who was Norman? (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.21 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL