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Dr Walford Bodie

Glasgow University Library, Special Collections, Jimmy Logan Collection

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Dr Walford Bodie

Walford Bodie, the self-proclaimed Master of Electricity, Modern Miracle Worker, and The Most Remarkable Man on Earth.

Samuel Murphy Bodie (1869-1939) was born in Aberdeen. He worked for the Scottish National Telephone Co but began to perform as a ventriloquist and magician. He became a hugely controversial performer when he claimed healing powers and began to "cure" the sick and infirm on stage, attracting the condemnation of medical men (but also huge audiences) across the country. When he appeared at the Coliseum in Eglinton Street in 1909, medical students (including, it is said, Osborne Mavor, aka James Bridie) thronged the theatre and pelted him with rotten fruit, eggs, peasemeal and other missiles.

Questioned about his inclusion of the initials "MD" after his name, "Dr" Bodie explained that they stood for "Merry Devil."

Reference: STA JLC 35

Glasgow University Library, Special Collections

Coliseum Theatre, electric chairs, electricity, magicians, ventiloquists

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