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Professor Herwinn

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Professor Herwinn
BornWilliam Humpage
October 31, 1861
DiedMarch 18, 1946 (age 84)

Professor Herwinn (October 31, 1861 - March 18, 1946) devised the first Thumb Tip around 1885.


He was born William Humpage in Birmingham. The spelling of Herwinn is inconsistent. On some of his bills and advertisements he appears as Herwin but when he first took out a professional card in Stanyon's Magic in December 1900 he appeared as "Prof. Herwinn, Magician and Illusionist". Herwin appeared in August 1903 of Stanyon's Magic magazine and the May 1907 issue of Selbit's The Wizard magazine.

Professor Herwinn was an early member of The Magic Circle.

He is credited with the invention of the brass Vanishing Penny Box in which the underside of the coin is brass to match the box.

Herwinn's son, Charles, worked under the name of Carlini, as a music hall act that doing shadowgraphy and chapeaugraphy in addition to magic and once toured with Charles Morritt.[1][2]


  1. Magic Circular Vol. 91
  2. # 228. THUMBS UP FOR PROFESSOR HERWIN! Rich Cabinet of Magical Curiosities By Edwin A. Dawes