DeMott, George, 1907-1986.
George DeMott was a juggler, magician, professional clown, collector of show business materials, and the author of a how-to book on juggling.
Born on July 21, 1907, George DeMott was raised on a farm in Millville, Pennsylvania. At the age of 18, while working as a doorman at the Fox Theatre in Philadelphia, he reportedly met Harry Houdini and juggler William Hilton, an encounter that inspired the direction of his career. He began as a clown, touring the U.S. and Canada with various circuses, and also performed at parks, fairs, and department stores. For about 15 years (1939-1954) DeMott and his wife Fanny toured the school assembly circuit, primarily in the Midwestern U.S., often performing several short programs per day, and logging thousands of miles in a single season. Mr. DeMott also sought to promote the arts of juggling and magic, and in addition to writing articles on these subjects for a number of show buisness journals, wrote and illustrated a how-to book, WANT TO BE A JUGGLER?, published in 1962. He was a member of the International Jugglers Association, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and numerous other professional organizations, and also collected theatrical ephemera, particularly items related to the Chautauqua and Lyceum circuits. George Wilbur DeMott died on October 22, 1986 in Leesburg, Florida, at the age of 79.
From the description of George DeMott papers, ca.1890-1954. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122378603
George Wilbur DeMott was born July 21, 1907 in Pennsylvania and was raised on a farm in Millville, Pennsylvania. He began his professional career in 1925 and spent 45 years as a professional clown, magician and juggler. For about 15 years (1939-1954) he toured the school assembly circuit, mostly in the mid-west, booking through various lecture and concert booking bureaus. Mr. DeMott is noted for being a pioneer in bringing juggling into school assembly programs, crafting his act into a complete, compact program that was both "practical and entertaining" and highly mobile. With his wife, Fanny, as his assistant, the DeMotts often performed several short programs per day, averaging 12-14 shows per week and logging thousands of miles in a single season.
At the age of 18, while working as a doorman at the Fox Theatre in Philadelphia, he reportedly met Harry Houdini and juggler William Hilton, an encounter that inspired the direction of his career. He began his career as a clown, touring the U.S. and Canada in various circuses including the Hagenbeck & Wallace Circus, Cole Bros. Circus, Keller's Society Circus, Wallace Bros. Circus and The Mackey Players. He also performed at various parks, fairs and department stores during the Christmas season, including a four-year stint at Gimbel's in Pittsburgh.
During his career Mr. DeMott also sought to promote the arts of juggling and magic. In addition to writing articles in many show business journals, he wrote and illustrated a how-to book on juggling entitled Want to Be a Juggler? (Tulsa, OK: Montadon Magic, 1962). He was also an early member of the International Jugglers Association, a 25-year member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, a member of the American Federation of Musicians, International Platform Association and American Guild of Variety Artists. In addition to his performing, Mr. DeMott was interested in show business history and collected theatrical ephemera, particularly items related to the Chautauqua and Lyceum circuits. Many of those items make up the bulk of the George DeMott Papers.
George Wilbur DeMott died on October 22, 1986 in Leesburg, Florida, at the age of 79.
From the guide to the George DeMott papers, circa 1890-1954, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)
|creatorOf||DeMott, George, 1907-1986. George DeMott papers, ca.1890-1954.||New York Public Library System, NYPL|
|creatorOf||George DeMott papers, circa 1890-1954||The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.|
|associatedWith||Aller, George H||person|
|associatedWith||Barthelmess, Richard, 1895-1963||person|
|associatedWith||Booth, John Wilkes, 1838-1865||person|
|associatedWith||Chaplin, Charlie, 1889-1977||person|
|associatedWith||Colman, Ronald, 1891-1958||person|
|associatedWith||Crawford, Jack, 1847-1917||person|
|associatedWith||Dietrich, Charles A||person|
|associatedWith||Douglas, William R.||person|
|associatedWith||Duncan, R. B||person|
|associatedWith||Gish, Lillian, 1893-1993||person|
|associatedWith||Graham, Fred C.||person|
|associatedWith||Keaton, Buster, 1895-1966||person|
|associatedWith||Keeler, Guy V||person|
|associatedWith||Kemerer, Paul H.||person|
|associatedWith||Kline, Harry Byrd||person|
|associatedWith||Lloyd, Harold, 1893-1971||person|
|associatedWith||Lombard, James Sargent, 1901-1970||person|
|associatedWith||Marsh, Mae, 1895-1968||person|
|associatedWith||Parker, Edgar Randolph, 1872-1952||person|
|associatedWith||Parker, Pitt F||person|
|associatedWith||Pickford, Mary, 1892-1979||person|
|associatedWith||Ramsay, Ray E.||person|
|associatedWith||Roth, Robert E||person|
|associatedWith||Shannon, Theodore J||person|
|associatedWith||Talmadge, Norma, 1897-1957||person|
|associatedWith||Thordarson, Thordur Waldimar||person|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Performing arts and children|
|Performing arts and children|