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David Livingston Price




AAFA #0168

1910 MO – 1998 TN



Cover of Genii magazine (1962)



Nashville, Davidson Co., TN—31 July 1998


            David L. Price Jr., 87, 1954 Old Hickory Blvd., Brentwood, a certified public accountant for the Internal Revenue Service, died yesterday [July 30] Mariner Health Care. Cause not disclosed. Private graveside services 11 a.m. Monday, Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery. Roesch Patton Austin Bracey & Charlton in charge.

            Survivors: wife, Virginia Price; son, David Price III, Nashville; sister, Martha Kuleg, Florida.


In another article, same source:



By Frank Ritter


            About six months ago, a teen-age friend of mine confided that he was interested in becoming a magician, and asked my advice.

            I told him, “First we start with David Price.” Then we drove out to Old Hickory Boulevard, just off Hillsboro Road, to David’s house and visited in David’s home what is perhaps the greatest museum of magic and magicians in the United States, if not the world.

            David, 87, confined to a wheelchair because of injuries to his feet from World War II, was a gracious host. He knew everything there is to about magicians—from Houdini to David Copperfield, who has made several visits to the private museum.

            Copperfield once asked if he could buy the museum, which is priceless. Or if he could inherit it when David died. David, such a gentle, soft-spoken man with a great sense of humor, replied with a chuckle, “No, I think it will go to my son, David Jr.”

            David Jr., of Nashville, now has the museum, because his father died early yesterday morning.... Burial service will be private.

            Private funeral services! I guess that’s because David Price, a retired auditor for the Internal Revenue Service, was a private person. He didn’t go looking for attention. You had to draw him out—but, oh, when you drew him out, the stories he could tell!

            Stories about magic, which David fell in love with at age 6 when he came across a preacher who got youngsters into church by doing magic tricks. By the time David was 18, he was appearing before civic clubs and small-town audiences.

            David’s favorite magician of all time was Alexander Herrmann, who played the Egyptian Hall in London—which is why David called his own museum “The Egyptian Hall.”

            .... David went to war with the U.S. Army in the 1940s and served in both Europe and the Pacific. He walked a lot with a backpack, and when he came out of the war, his feet were in such bad shape that he could never walk again.

            He came home to his wife, Virginia, whom he had met on a blind date in Nashville and married June 19, 1934. Virginia is herself quite a character, well-known in Nashville’s political circles because she is a self-professed “yellow dog Democrat.”

            “Yellow-dog Democrat” means that you would vote for a yellow dog before you would consider voting for a Republican. That’s how passionate Virginia is about her politics.

            David was never that way. His interests were in other things. Magic!

            Walking into David’s museum is an experience of a lifetime. Look at it: There are magic wands. Magic cards. A pair of handcuffs used by Houdini. Thousands of posters advertising magic shows....

            In the museum, there are clippings describing the death of the great magician Lafayette, who burned to death trying to save his horses during a theater fire in Scotland, May 8, 1911. Lafayette was buried with his dog, which had died a week earlier. He loved the dog, which had been given to him by Houdini when both of them were once in Nashville.

            You never knew before, did you, that Houdini once visited Nashville? David could have told you that!


In another article, Wikipedia:


            David Price (1910-1998), born in St. Louis, Missouri, was the owner of the Egyptian Hall Museum and author of Magic: A Pictorial History of Conjurers in the Theater (1985). Price devoted his life to the study of magic and had a close friendship with magicians worldwide.

            An amateur magician, he wrote many historical articles for Genii and The Linking Ring.

            Price joined the IBM in 1929 and was a founding member of the Southeastern Magicians Convention in 1931. He performed as "DeLivingston" during the 1930s, until a foot injury during World War II ended his onstage career.

            In 1953 he purchased the contents of W.W. Durbin's Egyptian Hall in Kenton, Ohio, which Durbin had decorated with photographs of magicians (starting in 1895). That collection became the nucleus of the Egyptian Hall Museum which was moved to Nashville, Tennessee.

            After David's death, his son, Dave Price III, a circus enthusiast and former magician took over the museum and eventually sold the contents to Mike Caveney and George Daily. Caveney retained the rights to the Egyptian Hall Museum name.

Photo from Middle Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, Nashville, Davidson Co., TN—

Permission granted by the photographer, HistoryBuff


AAFA NOTES: SSDI records show that David L. Price (SS# issued in TX) was born 15 Dec 1910, last residence Brentwood, Williamson Co., TN.

            From Gil Alford:


            David Price had a long association with AAFA. He was inducted into the Alford Hall of Fame in 1995 for his contributions to Alford genealogy and his support of AAFA. We published an article about his life and his contributions to the world of magic in “David Price, Jr., AAFA Hall of Famer,” AAFA ACTION Summer 1996, pp. 39–40.

            Dave compiled a large amount of data on his family and Alford ancestors that he generously shared with AAFA. We began publishing it in “David Price’s Alford Genealogy,” AAFA ACTION Summer 1997.

            David Price III wrote to me on 22 August 1998 to let AAFA know that his father had died. He enclosed the articles printed with David’s “In Remembrance,” AAFA ACTION Summer 1999. About the feature article, he said, “It tells about his interest in magic but says nothing about the genealogical work that occupied much of his last twenty-five or so years. He didn’t get started on this until well after he had retired. Once he started he loved it, as you are aware. Had he not started looking into family connections he would have missed making friends like you.”

            We will miss Dave.


            His Alford lineage, from his mother: Bertha Mae 1888 TX2, Francis Marion 1856 AL3, Aretmus Salathiel 1882 GA4, Jacob 1784 VA5, William 1741 VA6, Salvator 1716 VA7.