1976 Magician Len Vintus I.B.M. Co- Founder Signed Photo Postcard
Signed by Len Vintus.
Len Vintus, born Melvin Justus Given McMullen in Canada, was co-founder of the International Brotherhood
of Magicians (IBM). He was member #1 and served as its first president from 1922-1926. Vintus also edited
the original Linking Ring magazine.
He had a successful career as a semi professional entertainer doing ventriloquism as Len Vintus & Jerry "The Talking Doll".
This item was purchased through the estate auction of Leola Wain, who performed
with her husband Jack (the Mysterious La Wain)...
Jack Wain, performing as the Mysterious La Wain spent his life in Vaudeville, performing as a
Magician and Ventriloquist. Jack and his wife Leola traveled throughout United States and Canada
with the likes of Nicola and Howard Thurston. I believe during the 1940's and 1950's he performed
in more local settings. After retiring, Jack set up a magic shop in his home.
The card was written to Leola Wain, and dates May 21, 1976.
It measures 4" x 6 1/2" inches.
In Excellent Condition. Light corner wear. No creases or folds.
This is an original period item, and NOT a reproduction or reprint.
Born Melvin Justus Given McMullen
June 19,, 1903
Died June 17, 1999
Len Vintus (June 19, 1903 - June 17, 1999), born Melvin Justus Given McMullen in Canada, was co-founder of the IBM (he was member #1) and served as its first president from 1922-1926. Vintus also edited the original Linking Ring magazine.
Vintus had a successful career as a semi professional entertainer doing Ventriloquism as Len Vintus & Jerry "The Talking Doll". Thinking that his real name was too cumbersome for show business, he lifted the last syllable from his surname and combined two syllables from his other names to come up with Len Vintus.
His day jobs were as a as General Manager with North American Lumber, building consultant, chairman of a school board, and a prominent person in Manitoba's board of trade work. As Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce he was to become known as Mr. Manitoba in Canada.
•"The Magicians of The World" directory
Awards and honors
•Associate Member of The Inner Magic Circle (Silver Star).
•Linking Ring Cover May, 1925
•Special fellowship for his research work from the Academy of Magical Arts (1980)
•Honored guests at I.B.M. International Convention in Minneapolis July, 1997
•THIS IS YOUR LIFE by PETER D. BLANCHARD in The Magic Circular January 1981.
•Cover Linking Ring, Vol. 3, no. 1, May 1925
•Obituary - Linking Ring July, 1999
||Magic Library (Home)
A Short History of the
International Brotherhood of Magicians
Jack White, San Diego
The International Brotherhood of Magicians had very humble beginnings. It started as a letter writing exchange between three young men who shared a common interest, a love for the art of magic. M.J.G. McMullen of Canada and Gordon Avery of Buffalo, New York began writing to each other about magic in 1922. A few months later a third young man joined in the correspondence campaign, his name was Ernest Schieldge.
If those names sound unfamiliar to you, they should. It is because they all changed their names and became known, respectively, as Len Vintus, Gene Gordon and Don Rogers.
That trio became the nucleus of the fledgling I.B.M. Len Vintus took the Presidency and he became I.B.M. Member #1; Gene Gordon was Publicity Director with I.B.M. #2; and Don Rogers became Editor of the Linking Ring, the Brotherhood's official journal and he became I.B.M. Member #3. Werner Dornfield, better known to magicians as "Dorny", became involved and was given I.B.M. Number 4, though he claimed to be the first official member since the others were all officers!
Membership grew rapidly. There was a clamoring for the formation of more local groups they called "Rings." Gene Gordon established the first Ring in Rochester, New York. Additional Rings sprang up as members sought to meet and exchange ideas and interests in magic.
The objectives of the I.B.M. are simple. To organize individuals interested in the practice and promotion of the Art of Magic; to facilitate the exchange of magical ideas; and to promote harmony among those interested in magic. The first fully elected President was the legendary W.W. Durbin, who won the election during the first I.B.M. Convention that was held in Durbin's backyard in Kenton, Ohio in 1926. During that same convention the International Brotherhood of Magicians was incorporated and a Constitution and By-Laws were created. Since that time, regular elections are held each year and a business meeting is called to report on the state of the organization.
Now 86 years after its birth the I.B.M. continues to forge ahead in bringing magicians together from around the world in the interest of advancing the ethics of magic, and to oppose exposures, to encourage literature, to promote professionalism in magic, and to promote humane treatment of live animals and birds used in our Art.
Today, there are over 300 I.B.M Rings worldwide, boasting nearly 14,000 members. Those who have served the I.B.M. for 25 years are given the "Order of Merlin" and this year as usual many will receive their "Merlin Pins". Some of our members have served for more than 60 years and continue to remain active.
Through the years, those members whose dedication to magic has led them to the highest office have made contributions of time and talent that are immeasurable. All have felt honored and have continued to serve in various capacities.
As we move forward, the I.B.M. faces new technology and changes in attitudes but while we may have our ups and downs, the object and goals remain the same.
It is still the grandest magic organization in the world.