Edwin always told me, “To succeed in magical dealing Ian, you must comply with three things…”
1. Create new and original material.
2. Manufacture these at a reasonable price.
3. Run a very quick return of postal service.
Edwin Hooper was a very successful children’s entertainer. He was also every good at writing lengthy instructions and routines. One night, whilst taking a bath he came up with three major effects, one being Farmyard Frolics. He was also extremely good at deeming magic, no matter which branch. Most important of all, he was brilliant business man.
It was a sad day when Edwin Hooper sold the business. I had been a partner of many years but just couldn’t afford to purchase the business, including building, machinery, vehicles and stock.
I did mention that Edwin never stood idle, in fact, two years after the firm was sold, and he opened another magic dealing depot…Edwin’s Magic Arts. His range of magic was tremendous.
The Supreme Magic Company was purchase by Brian Head and Paul Dupee, two business men who know nothing about magic. They said they would purchase the firm, only if I stayed on and became the General Manager. This is what happened. At first the firm progressed, another new magazine Alakazam, edited by Maurice Day, was for children’s entertainers. My Trixigram publication grew larger. The Magigram continued. A new range of effects appeared and several giant catalogs were produced and distributed.
The Reveal Series of videos was launched, some 25 or more, featuring some of the world’s greatest performers and inventors. Unfortunately both businessmen couldn’t handle the firm any more so once again it was up for sale. Several magic dealers were interested, but none could actually afford to purchase the complete outfit, stock, building and keep on the staff. The original Number 64 was emptied and sold. The goods were transferred to the top buildings in High Street.
A Mr. Barry Laymond came on the scene. He was known as the Chief Steward at the British Ring Conventions, as well as being in charge of the flag bearers who paraded during the reception nights.
It was apparent to me that the firm had lost its zest. It had certainly lost the founder, Edwin Hooper. Several staff left and others were fired. The Laymonds commuted back and forth from London. The Magigram was no longer an “in-house” publication, being printed outside. It moved from printing house to printing house.
I was approached by one of the son’s of Barry Laymond. I was told that I had been dismissed on the spot. The firm continued with only a few staff for another year and a half, and then, one Wednesday afternoon those workers were told that The Supreme Magic Company had gone into liquidation.
Such was the largeness of this specialized firm, that the liquidation made its way into all of the national daily papers. One thing is certain, our founder, Edwin Hooper will always be remembered. Building the firm from a small loan of 100 pounds from his father, he built one of the best known magic dealing firms of all times.
As I said, Edwin Hooper was a human dynamo.
Dukie, Edwin Hooper, Karrell Fox and Ian Adair