Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ned Frailey

The back of this card is Bicycle's Rider back design.

Nathan H. “Ned” Frailey
was born November 6, 1865 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In the 1920’s, he was the owner of the Penn Magic House in Lancaster. Frailey traveled extensively throughout Pennsylvania. He performed for hundreds of children as "Prof. Schultz" in make up and with a German accent. His show was a hit with the children as well as with the adults. Along with his magic show, he featured "Tommy" who was his prized ventriloquist figure. Professor and Madam Pinxy of Chicago, Illinois created the vent figure Ned purchased. Tommy was a hit every time he joined the performance. The audience loved him.

The back of this card is Bicycle's Emblem design.

Frailey was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians with membership number 1076. He was the originator of the magi­cian's picnic held at Rocky Springs each year. In 1930, Frailey organized the Red Rose Ring No. 51 in Lancaster. He ran the meetings out of his shop, which was a combination cigar store and magic shop. Ned was the president of the Ring in the 30’s. His expertise was well known by audiences as well as fellow magicians alike. He would perform on his own or with a partner, but either way he kept the audiences amused with a balanced performance and fun for all ages. Frailey made and sold his effect “Gung Ho” through Stuart Robson’s Conjuror’s Magic shop. Robson’s shop had a hard time keeping the inventory very long. It’s still a good trick for all ages.

In May 1949, Frailey, who was eighty-two, was knocked down by a car backing into a parking spot. He seemed to take it in stride and for a little while he continued to perform and attend meetings. He was bestowed the honor of the Dean of Pennsylvania Magicians. Not too long after the accident, age caught up with Ned and he was confined to his home because of an accident. He was confined to a wheelchair but continued to sell magic out of his house. The shop was long since gone, but Frailey was selling his own personal effects. He eventually sold off all of his magic and ventriloquist figures over the next few years. He couldn’t go the magic meetings, but that seemed not to bother him as fellow magicians would drop by and keep him company and talk magic. And, he was finally able to catch up with all the loose ends at the house. 

On October 17, 1953, Frailey passed away. He was survived by his wife of sixty-two years, Annie, and their daughters and son.

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