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Lewis Davenport

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Lewis Davenport
BornGeorge William John Ryan
December 26, 1881
London, England
DiedMay 14, 1961 (age 79)
London, England

Lewis Davenport (1881-1961) was a British performer and inventor.


He established Davenports & Co. in 1898, now one of the oldest family run magic business in the world. As a performer his specialty was the lightning-fast manipulation of solid billiard balls and quick changes. He made the decision to change his name "to his 'nom de theatre' as LEWIS from the name of the town Lewisham and DAVENPORT because it was in Davenport Road”.[1][2]

Davenport was a natural entrepreneur who started the company as a mail-order operation, writing out instructions by hand. He got a printing press around 1905 by putting an ad in the paper saying he was willing to swap a printing press for magic tricks.

He also created a very popular version of the Mutilated Parasol.


  • The Davenport Story – Volume One: The Life and Times of a Magical Family, 1881-1939 by Fergus Roy [3]
  • The Davenport Story - Volume Two: The Lost Legends by Fergus Roy [4]
  • Will Goldstone The Man and the Legend by Fergus Roy [5]


  2. Cover Genii Magazine, Vol. 45, No. 2, February 1981, The House of Davenport, page 88
  3. Genii Magazine, Vol. 73, No. 3, March 2010, Books, REVIEWED BY JAMY IAN SWISS, page 78
  4. Genii Magazine, Vol. 73, No. 5, May 2010, Books, REVIEWED BY JAMY IAN SWISS, page 75
  5. Genii Magazine, Vol. 76, No. 5, May 2013, page 92