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Periodical: Baldwin's Illustrated Butterfly

Summary:  From Pat Deveney's database:

Baldwin's Illustrated Butterfly.
A Paper that will Interest Everybody.
1888? Weekly, irregular
International (where the troupe was appearing). Editor: Prof. S.S. Baldwin, The Eminent Psychometrist, and Mrs. Kittie Baldwin, The Rosicrucian Somnambumacist.

This was a combination program, lobby-sales magazine, clipping book, and advertising blurb for Samuel Spencer Baldwin ("Samri Baldwin, The White Mahatma," 1848-1924) and his traveling 'Butterfly Coterie" of vaudevillians. 10 pp. (with supplement), sixpence. The journal has no place or date of publication and seems to have been published as needed in Baldwin's tours. Baldwin was primarily an entertainer, noted for his clever and humorous patter and facility with neologisms, and he advertised himself as a 'deceptionist." As a young man he had followed the Davenport Brothers from town to town and claimed that he had early on become a skeptic about the supernatural and the mystic pretensions of other performers. In his early stage career he emulated the Davenports with a seance and escapist act, alternating that with appearances as a debunker of spiritualist tricks, including those of the Davenports -- although, typically, the spiritualists insisted he was a medium. Throughout his career he, like his contemporary Anna Eva Fay, intentionally left ambiguous the reality of his clairvoyance and mind reading. In 1884 he and his then wife began lengthy tours of the antipodes, adding Asia and Africa in 1891-1892, and with that experience (and the popularity of Theosophy) he gave his act an oriental veneer, billing himself as 'Samri" and 'The White Mahatma" and touting the secrets he claimed to have learned on his tours in the East from Yogis, Fakeers, Brahmins, Ascetics, Laamas and Gooroos and, especially the Ojha Brahmins. In 1894 he pioneered a mentalism act that endures today in which pads were distributed to the audience on which they could submit questions. The journal featured advertisements for Samri's 'brother,” Dr. Frank Baldwin's, lessons on 'Mesmerism and Hypnotis, taught in half an hour. How to fascinate (or charm) others. Plain and Easily-understood Lessons. Anyone can become a Mesmerist. Rosicrucian Somnomancy. How to become a Clairvoyant." University of Texas at Austin.

Issues:Baldwin's Illustrated Butterfly V10 N1

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