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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Rajah Raboid (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

drwilson
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Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

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I am looking for more information on Rajah Raboid, the vaudeville crystal-gazer perhaps best known to modern magicians for his amazing sawing in half illusion starring half-man Johnny Eck (seen in Todd Browning's Freaks) and his twin brother.

Ricky Jay, in Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women, writes that the illusion was presented for the first time in Portland, Maine, and received such a reaction of panic that it was never repeated. However, Milbourne Christopher's Illustrated History of Magic claims that the act toured the East Coast to packed houses.

The Johnny Eck museum web site has a page from Johnny's scrapbook, showing an ad for the Miracles of 1937 show, in which he appeared with Raja Raboid:

http://www.johnnyeckmuseum.com/magic/rajahraboid.html

My question about Rajah Raboid is sparked by the comment of one of our I.B.M. Ring members, who told me that Raja Raboid (birth name Maurice P. Kitchen or Ray Boyd, depending on who you believe) was from Rumford, Maine, also the home of Dr. James William Elliott. I can't find any mention of his home town in Milbourne Christopher's book, or any of the resources on the web.

So, magic history buffs, what was Rajah Raboid's birth name and where was he from? Thanks for any assistance.

Yours,

Paul
Kevin Connolly
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Inner circle
New Jersey
1329 Posts

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The guy to ask is Diego Domingo in CA. He hangs out over on the Genii Forum.
Please visit my website.
www.houdinihimself.com

Always looking buy or trade for original Houdini, Hardeen and escape artist items. I'm interested in books, pitchbooks and ephemera. Email [email]hhoudini@optonline.net[/email]
drwilson
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Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

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I got this message about Rajah Raboid from the fellow who runs the Johnny Eck Museum web site:

_______

raboid was living in nyc when he worked w/ johnny in '37. he ended up living in florida in his later years. the show was performed up and down the east coast to packed and horrified audiences. raboid was one of the premire vaudeville mentalists, crystal gazing, etc. he even had a very sucessful radio program. not sure of his hometown. hope this helps.
j

________

Yours,

Paul
MagicalArtist
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Veteran user
Hobart, Indiana
369 Posts

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If you don't know this already, get ahold of the August 2004 M-U-M. It had Raboid on the cover.
jakeg
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Inner circle
1720 Posts

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If I'm not mistaken, I believe that I have some of his manuscripts among my collection of "stuff". Have to check it out tonight.
drwilson
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Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

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Wow! I would like to publicly thank Mark Damon, who send me seven pages of fascinating reading on Rajah Raboid. It is a great story, and it is very generous on Mark's part to have put this amount of time in on this.

Mark used David Price's book "Magic" as his main source. This is a fabulous resource; I had never encountered it before.

Thanks, again, Mark!

Yours,

Paul
Damon
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Regular user
108 Posts

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Thanks for the kind words Paul, I learned a lot from researching it too.

The full title of the book for those interested is, Magic: A Pictorial History of Conjurers in the Theatre by David Price (Cornwall Books, 1985). I bought mine new back in 1985 from David Meyer; I think I paid $65. They now fetch in the $200 range, but worth every penny if magic history is your thing.

Regards, Mark Damon
Chris Oberle
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Elite user
California
455 Posts

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Quote:
I bought mine new back in 1985 from David Meyer; I think I paid $65. They now fetch in the $200 range, but worth every penny if magic history is your thing.

Regards, Mark Damon


Still a great price.
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