Robert Ankele was an photographer, artist and magician.
Electricity was a feature of his entertainment, before it was well understood, which gave him the appearance of having supernatural powers.
He was an illustrator for Mahatma, did engravings for many magicians and in 1899 created for sale a photographic montage called "Conjuring Lights Living and Deceased" which consisted of 58 portraits of some of the most prominent conjurers (including himself). Included was also a small booklet giving particulars of each performer on the picture. It took him almost 2 years to collect all the photographs.
Ankele was one of the 24 names recorded at the founding of the Society of American Magicians when they met for the first time as a permanent organization. Later, for some unknown reason, is was decided that Ankele did not qualify for membership.
It was reported in Sphinx (Feb 1923), that his wife passed away on January 30, 1923 at the age of 64.
Cover of Mahatma Vol 2, No. 4 (October 1898)