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Ephemera

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Mr Grue
129529.  Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:01 pm Reply with quote

Items of shortlived interest or purpose.

Arthur Lloyd[1], born to a Welsh brass finisher on 5th November, 1891 was a stage performer who began his career to support his widowed mother. His act went as follows. He would walk on stage in mortarboard and gown and request that a member of the audience to name a playing card. No sooner was the card named, than Lloyd would reach into his gown and, without looking, pull from its folds the self-same card. This would be repeated several times, and each time Lloyd would have the card in an instant. But such an act was commonplace. Card ace and stage-magic historian Ricky Jay notes that Lloyd attended every show of conjurer Herbert Brooks, who featured a similar "any playing card" routine. Lloyd adopted the routine himself, but with and additional spin that made the act his own.

Once Lloyd had convinced the audience that he could produce any playing card named from his gown, he made a second, more open-ended request; that members of the audience call out for anything, anything at all, that was printed and could be carried around in a pocket. Lloyd would then produce these items with the same ease, be they insurance policies, alimony papers, tickets for the boxing, a license for boxing, a membership card for the Communist party, a pass to the Colombian exposition, a paper asprin packet, and on, and on.

Ripley's Believe it or Not column featured Lloyd on June 14, 1936, describing him as the "Human Card Index". It gave the weight of his clothing, and the 15,000 printed items, as between 45 and 110 pounds.

If a member of the audience managed to come up with an item that could not be found, Lloyd would endeavour to acquire the item by the time he played the same city, and would as often as not send the audience member a photostat of the item once he had it.

Lloyd would perform a refined version of his act for speciality groups, such as lawyers or accountants, providing any item of associated paperwork on request.

Ricky Jay describes in his book, Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women, the clothing worn by Lloyd, which is now owned by Chet Karkut of Connecticut.

Quote:
"Lloyd used more than forty pockets, which held the thousands of items he carried. The material was divided into sections - licenses (marriage, pharmaceutical, liquor), gambling tickets (derby, sweepstakes, lottery), sporting events (baseball, boxing, football), office forms, hotel stationery, portraits of monarchs, and on and on. But these provide no real clue to his method of operation... An attempt to analyze how he produced a specific item within a given category forces one to the amazing conclusion that show business' most famous anal-retentive had no system - he simply knew where each of the thousands of cards in his pockets was located."


[1] Not to be confused with the nineteenth century Scottish music hall singer of the same name.


Last edited by Mr Grue on Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:18 am; edited 1 time in total

 
smiley_face
129533.  Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:14 pm Reply with quote

Mr Grue wrote:
Items of shortlived interest or purpose.


Winners (and indeed losers) of musical talent-finding television programmes.


Last edited by smiley_face on Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
cabs
129535.  Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:20 pm Reply with quote

smiley_face wrote:
Mr Grue wrote:
Items of shortlived interest or purpose.


Winners (and indeed losers) of talent-finding television programmes.


Tell that to Lenny Henry. Hardly a mayfly, he.

 
mckeonj
129575.  Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:16 pm Reply with quote

Is there a term for ephemera that won't go away? e.g. yo-yo, bonkers, punks, teddy-boys, toys in cereal boxes, comic books.

 
smiley_face
129587.  Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:47 pm Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
Is there a term for ephemera that won't go away? e.g. yo-yo, bonkers, punks, teddy-boys, toys in cereal boxes, comic books.


Yes. Crap.

 
Tas
129637.  Thu Dec 28, 2006 6:29 pm Reply with quote

Oy! Yo-yos ain't crap. And comic books ain't either! So ner!

:-)

Tas

 
CaptTimmy
129656.  Thu Dec 28, 2006 7:59 pm Reply with quote

Toy in cereal boxes may be, but the cereal sure isn't! So ner ner!

 
Mr Grue
129740.  Fri Dec 29, 2006 7:34 am Reply with quote

The Encyclopaedia of Ephemera:
Quote:
Ephemera is the plural form of the Greek word ephemeron (epi= on, about, around; hemera = day). Literally, it refers to something that lasts through the day, which is the case with some winged insects. The word ephemeris has long been used in titles of Greek newspapers and ephemerides to described a category of document (calendar, diary, etc.).


Ephemera that won't go away is still ephemera, I think, as the title is dictated by the intended purpose and lifetime of the object rather than how long it actually survives. Phillip K. Dick uses a term in Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? that I tend to use for such junk items, "Kibble".

 
mckeonj
130648.  Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:59 am Reply with quote

Kibble is a brand of pelleted food for equine quadrupeds. It looks not unlike some breakfast cereals. Do not enquire too closely into its composition, and enjoy your breakfast cereal.

 
CaptTimmy
130789.  Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:55 pm Reply with quote

I believe what my dog eats is called a kibble. There is also a product called "Kibbles 'n' Bits" It'd be a shame if they were really just selling junk.....

 
Ian Dunn
978225.  Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:00 am Reply with quote

Concerning the subject of Arthur Lloyd, I learnt a bit about him last night when I went to see the magicians Barry and Stuart.

They told a story about Lloyd's gown being put up for auction by one of his descendants. David Copperfield put in a huge bid so that he could add the gown to his "Museum of Magic" and find out the never-revealed scerets behind it.

Copperfield won, but when the gown arrived, it came in two packages. The first one was gown itself, with a letter from the seller saying how proud he was that Copperfield had brought the gown and to make sure it was in top condition he had the gown dry-cleaned. All the tickets, papers, and everything else had thus been taken out and put in the second package. Thus, no-one will ever know for sure how Lloyd's gown worked.


Last edited by Ian Dunn on Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
'yorz
978232.  Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:19 am Reply with quote

That is just plain cruel.

(Descendants - not ancestors [/pedant])

 
Ian Dunn
978328.  Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:38 pm Reply with quote

(Post amended - thanks 'yorz)

 

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