Bubb-Kudarz-White Photograph

Bubb-Kudarz-White Photograph

This photograph appears both in the 'Kudarz Journal' and in the 'Press book of Thomas E. Driver, also known as Robert Kudarz' (sic) held by the Library of Congress (Permalink: http://lccn.loc.gov/2010713535 - Houdini scrapbook 46). The Library of Congress copy is captioned "Mr Bubb, Kudarz and yours truly". As the Press book was donated to Houdini by Thomas Driver's great friend Billy White as part of his bequest, 'yours truly' seems likely to be Billy White.

Photograph from the 'Kudarz Journal'

[Private Collection]

Card-sharping Inscription

Card-sharping Inscription

Thomas Driver corresponded with many of the big names in stage magic of the day including Harry Keller and Houdini. This book now in the 'Robbins Stage Magic and Conjuring Collection' at the State Library of New South Wales in Australia carries the inscription "To Mr Thos. Driver with best wishes H. Kellar 1882"

Card-sharping exposed / by Robert-Houdin ; translated and edited with notes by Professor Hoffmann

Permalink: http://library.sl.nsw.gov.au/record=b2939641~S2

State Library New South Wales: Australia - Rare Books: Robbins/0223 

Conjurers' Monthly Magazine.

Conjurers' Monthly Magazine.

During his later years in particular, Thomas Driver became a journalist, contributing to several magic periodicals of the day including an extended run in M.U.M on the history of visiting performers to the colonies. However, this work was never finished as Tom died (in 1922) before the last instalments were submitted.

Conjurers' monthly magazine.

Permalink: http://library.sl.nsw.gov.au/record=b2948321~S2

State Library New South Wales, Australia - Rare Books: Robbins/0790

Driver Billing in New Plymouth

Driver Billing in New Plymouth

This photograph appears in the 'Kudarz Journal' and is captioned "To my friend Billy White - from his Wellington Pal Thos W. Driver. Billing Driver - New Plymouth July 11 - 12 1917"

The building is the 'AMP Building' in New Plymouth, New Zealand which still stands on the corner of Devon Street West and Egmont Street, currently occupied by Peggy Gordon's Irish bar.

Photograph from the 'Kudarz Journal'

[Private Collection]

Kudarz' Inspriration

Kudarz' Inspriration

Louis Haselmayer was an eminent illusionist and musician who toured New Zealand in 1872. The young Thomas Driver reputedly took lessons from Haselmayer after seeing him perform in Whanganui. Thereafter, Thomas saved all his earnings from apprenticing at the local newspaper - The Wanganui Herald - in order to purchase the books that furthered his magical trade.

Advertising Flyer for Louis Haselmayer in Maori

Permalink: http://lccn.loc.gov/2010713024

Library of Congress Rare Book/Special Collections Reading Room (Jefferson LJ239) - Houdini Scrapbook 20

Kudarz Press Book

Kudarz Press Book

Thomas Driver kept a good record of his performances over the years, creating scrapbooks and press books which are now scattered across the world at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, New Zealand - The State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia - The Library of Congress in Washington DC, U.S.A.

Press book of Thomas E. Driver, also known as Robert Kudarz [1883-1923]

Permalink: http://lccn.loc.gov/2010713535

Library of Congress Rare Book/Special Collections Reading Room (Jefferson LJ239) - Houdini scrapbook 46
 

 

Kudarz' Gravesite

Kudarz' Gravesite

Thomas Drivers grave site is a sparse place held up by the walls of the neighbouring grave markers. It is located on a steep embankment at Karori cemetery in Wellington, New Zealand (see the contact page on this site for an approximate location). It is owned by the Society of American Magicians - one of only three maintained by that organisation in the world.

There is now a modern plaque which reads: "Thomas William Driver (Robert Kudarz) 1872 (sic) - 1922 - Member 167 - Society American Magicians"

In August 2010 a small group of Driver's descendants and Magicana editor Michael Woolf paid tribute to Kudarz by unveiling a broken wand plate for the site.

Gravesite of Thomas William Driver A.K.A. Professor Robert Kudarz

[Private Collection]