Mentalist antedates

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Wed Jan 26 21:57:21 UTC 2005

On Jan 26, 2005, at 4:38 PM, Mullins, Bill wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Mullins, Bill" <Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL>
> Subject:      Mentalist antedates
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> Mentalist
> From OED:  (n) d. A magician who performs feats which apparently
> demonstrate extraordinary mental powers, such as telepathy,
> precognition, etc.; a mind-reader.     1925 _Sphinx_ July 159/2
> (heading) Attention, Mentalists!
> Indianapolis Star | 1909-10-16 p 5 col 4.
> "Several letters and papers which seem to in involve John Wilson,
> charged with the murder of his wife on the third day of March, have
> been found in a trash pile on East Fifth street through the agency of
> a mentalist."
> Syracuse Herald Journal | 1909-06-06 p 40 col 6.
> [advertisement for the Grand theater]
> "Special Engagement of Pearl Tangley The Egyptian Mentalist.  The most
> astounding exhibition of mental telepathy ever witnessed.  She will
> tell you IF You ought to marry You will succeed Your sweetheart loves
> you."
> Coshocton [Ohio] Morning Tribune, 1911-11-21  page 2 col 4.
> "Mental Marvel at The Colonial"
> "Manager Abbott of The Colonial has secured Ethel Roberts, a girl
> mentalist, for a limited engagement, starting Monday night. Miss
> Roberts, who is a protégé of Anna Eva Fay, presents a remarkable
> exhibition of telepathy wherein she calls people by name, tells them
> of events that have transpired in their past and gives them advise in
> love affairs, business, etc."
> Coshocton [Ohio] Morning Tribune, 1911-08-13, p. 5 col 7
> "Mental Photography A Wonderful Phase of Psychical Phenomena"
> "Professor J. Edgar Marion, telephotist

"telephotist" is not in the OED. Also just heard someone overcorrect
"cushion" to "cushing."

-Wilson Gray

> Davis County [Utah] Clipper 1921-04-01 p. 5 col 3.
> "Bill for Orpheum Theatre Commencing Wed., March 30"
> "Harry Kahno, "The Incomparable Mentalist," performs  wonderful feats
> featuring "the Evolution of the Human Brain." "
> Monessen [Pennsylvania] Daily Independent, 1911-12-20 p. 6 col 2.
> "Mind Reading Strange Silent Power"
> "Professor William Walter Lipsin, Philospher and Scientist, is now in
> this city on business pertaining to the Boston Telepathy Club, under
> the auspices of the Morgan-Russell Institutue, and has arranged to
> give a portion of his time to those wishing to learn certain things
> concerning their own affairs or the affairs of others in whom they are
> interested."

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