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Elmer P. Ransom

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Elmer P. Ransom

Cover of Sphinx (May 1911)
BornSeptember 19, 1860
New York City
DiedFebruary 2, 1942 (age 81)

Elmer Pendelton Ransom (1860 - 1942) was one of the early Lyceum and one of the first Chautauqua magicians.

Ransom started professional in 1880 and toured America with his own show, and held the position in New York of top society entertainer for a long time. He played engagements frequently at Tony Pastor's Theatre.

Ransom was one of the group that met in the magic shop of the Martinka's in 1902 to form a organization that became known as Society of American Magicians. Elmer's SAM memberships number was 20 and he was elected president in 1910.

Ransom married Susan Irwin, known as "De De", who was his assistant for many year.

He was a magical historian having known personally all of the leading magicians of his day.

Ransom wrote the forward to Al Baker's book Magical Ways and Means (1941)

Ransom was particularly strong in anti-spiritualistic work and frequently duplicated their effects. He was later associated with Margaret Fox on her "confessional*' tour

The Sphinx, March 1940 issue was dedicated to Ransom and featured an article "Fifty Years a Star".

Note: Last name often misspelled "Ranson".


  • Cover Sphinx May, 1911.
  • Who's Who in Magic, Sphinx, September, 1932
  • Cover Sphinx, March 1940.
  • Elmer P. Ransom: A LIFETIME IN MAGIC, Genii 1942 March