Louisville Magic Club History

The Louisville Magic Club began in 1946, when local magician, Jerry Kannapel contacted local magicians and urged them to get together to promote the art of magic.
The first meeting of the Louisville magic club was was held at the Pendennis Club in downtown Louisville.
Jerry Kanapel together with Fritz Drybrough organized the club.
There were 15 original, Charter members:
Harry Collins
Fred St.Isyboro
G R Winehart
Lafayette Miller
Johnny Musselman
Leonard Turley
Gus Breakmeire
Jerry Kanapel
Sherrell Nunnelley
Duke Poe
Bill Dodson
Don Redman
Bill Tudor
Fritz Drybrough
Grover Page
An election of officers was held each year, and the first secretary was Sherrell Nunnelley. Meetings were held once a month until 1954.
During the next several years meetings were held at the home of Fitz Dreyer on Lexington Road, and also at the Shriners Club.
There were no lectures, members took turns doing magic at the meetings.
Lectures started in the late 1950's with Bill Dodson and Durbin Oldham promoting lectures by Emil Loew.
In the early years there were no women or young children, the only exception was Ray Tillman who was allowed to come, his father brought him.

History Highlights

In June 1954, Louisville was host to the I.B.M. Convention.
Sherrell Nunnelley, Dean of our club was featured on the cover of the April 1954 Linking Ring Magazine.

Jul 1986 - Louisville was host to the S.A.M. Convention
Nov 1999 - the Club (Okito Ring 64) was renamed the Okito/Lance Burton I.B.M. Ring 64 and the honor of Dean was bestowed on Sherrell Nunnelley
Jul 2006 - Louisville was again host to the S.A.M. Convention
Jul 2008 - Louisville was host to the combined I.B.M./S.A.M. Convention. During the convention the Club was named the Mac King S.A.M. Assembly 215
Jul 2017 - Louisville will once again host the combined I.B.M./S.A.M. Convention

Louisville's Magical History

In September 26th, 1907 Hardeen, Houdini's brother allowed the Chief Police officials of Louisville, Kentucky,
to securely fasten heavy handcuffs and leg irons on him. (These weighed almost thirty-five pounds.)

So shackled, before a crowd of 15,000, he jumped into the Ohio River from the 18th Street Bridge, which was 60 feet above the water.
It looked like sure death but Hardeen released himself from the handcuffs as he sunk in the water about fifty feet below the Bridge,
and made his triumphant re-appearance holding the cuffs high in the air. He later repeated this feat many times in other cities.

Source: The Conjurors' Magazine, Vol. 1 No. 6
By Walter B. Gibson, ed

Police and Hardeen
Prior to Ohio River Bridge Jump
[Photo: Life and History of Hardeen]
Jumping from bridge into Ohio River
[Photo: Life and History of Hardeen]