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Oswald Williams

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See also: Charles Oswald Williams of Cardiff, who performed as "Charles Oswald" .
Oswald Williams
BornApril 11, 1880
London, England
DiedMarch 21, 1937 (age 56)
London, England

Oswald Williams (b.1880-d.1934) travelled and performed throughout America and Europe from 1907 until the outbreak of Word War 1 with an illusion show which had about one ton of equipment, three male assistants and one female.


Designed and built his own illusions such as The Merry Widow Hat, The Vanishing Lady, Noah's Ark, The Box of Tricks, The Homing Bells (used by David Devant at the First Grand Seance of the Magic Circle) and The Dizzy Limit to name but a few.

Also noted for smaller effects such as the Torn and Restored Strip of Paper.

Oswald Williams billed himself as "England's Foremost Illusionist". He performed the following stage act in London during 1918: The Vanishing Bowl of Water, the homing Bells, lady of the Bath Novelty, Torn and restored Paper Strips, and ended with the Diamond Girl. [1][2]

His 1931 performance at Maskelynes in London was described in Holden's Programmes of Famous Magicians which states he was assisted by Miss Mary Maskelyne. The act included the Square Pig Novelty (U. F. Grant's); "Seeing is Believing"; Topsy Turvy Bottle; Rings to Chain; Bill in the Cigarette; "Once Upon a Time"; "Invisible Wine"; Ark Illusion; "Grandmother's Work Basket"; and "The Dizzy Limit Illusion".

Note: Oswald Williams wrote a letter to the Conjurers' Monthly Magazine (Oct 30, 1906) explaining, "I am not Oswald Williams of Cardiff. This gentleman's name is Charles Oswald Williams; he is a very clever amateur conjurer, but I believe has never been on the Music Halls.I met him some years back and we were so struck at the strange coincidence in the similarity of our names and craft that we were photographed together."


  • Hints to Young Conjurers (1919)


  1. The Magic Circular, Vol. 88, no. 947, July 1994, page 115, Nineteenth Collectors' Day
  2. Stanyon's Magic, Vol. 10, no. 5, February 1910, page 36, Explanatory Programmes.
  • Bio-bibliographisches Lexikon der Zauberkünstler Edition Volker Huber, April 2002, page 335
  • The Magician Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 5, April 1913, OSWALD WILLIAMS, A BRILLIANT SHOW by a BRILLIANT MAGICIAN, page 75
  • The Magazine of Magic, Vol. 8, No. 1, October 1920, Oswald Williams (autobiography), page 4
  • The Magician Monthly, Vol. 33, No. 4, March 1937, OBITUARY, page 42
  • The Sphinx, Vol. 36, No. 1, March 1937, Editor's Page, page 46
  • WlLFORD HUTCHINSON'S CONJURERS CHRONICLE, Vol. 18, No. 5, Mar.-April 1937, Editorial, page 1075
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 17, No. 12, February 1938, New York News by Max Holden, page 792
  • The Sphinx, Vol. 46, No. 910, December 1947, Oswald Williams, by Verrall Wass, page 214