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Help: need Blind Oscar Moore info

VoxFox 23 Jan 02 - 10:29 PM
Sorcha 24 Jan 02 - 11:28 AM
VoxFox 24 Jan 02 - 07:45 PM
Joe Offer 16 Jan 16 - 01:50 AM
GUEST,# 16 Jan 16 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,# 16 Jan 16 - 12:30 PM
Thomas Stern 16 Jan 16 - 02:35 PM
Thomas Stern 17 Jan 16 - 04:47 PM
Thomas Stern 20 Jan 16 - 10:40 AM
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From: VoxFox
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 10:29 PM

This past summer I picked up this little booklet at a yardsale entitled "Blind Oscar, A Living Phonograph. Oscar Moore'sManual of Useful Information, together with his Songs and Recitations. The most Wonderful Phenomena of this Century. The Mental Wonder of the World." It says that he was born in Waco, Texas,August 19, 1885. My question is; Who is he and can anyone tell me about him or lead me to a site with info? There are some songs in this book that I can't find in the DT and some I did find but with slight variations. I'll post if anyone is interested. The titles are: "Teddie", "Fifty Cents","Love's Old Sweet Song"," The Message" (not the one in DT), "The Picture That Is Turned Toward The Wall", "The Little Old House On The Rhine", "Bid Me Goodbye(Ah! Dimmi Addio)", "Old, And Only In The Way", "Grandfather's Clock", "Can You Tell Me The Reason Why?", "Old Folks At Home", "Annie Laurie", "Rosa Lee; or "Don't Be Foolish, Joe" and "Home, Sweet Home".Thanks for looking. VF

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From: Sorcha
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 11:28 AM

Don't know if this site will help any or not.......

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From: VoxFox
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 07:45 PM

Sorcha, Thanks for the link, This is a great site even though it is not the right guy. My Oscar is about 20 years older. No biggie if I can't find out I was just curious as the booklet is pretty old as it states that the largest city in the United States is New York with 1,710,715 people living there. That there are only 42 States in the Union, and only names 23 Presidents so I figured I'd try to find out some stuff. Thanks for trying, I appreciate it very much. VF

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Subject: RE: Help: need Blind Oscar Moore info
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jan 16 - 01:50 AM

Anybody know anything more about Oscar Moore?
I've had an email request for information about him.
Anybody know how to contact VoxFox, who posted here in 2002 (I emailed the 2002 address)?

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Subject: RE: Help: need Blind Oscar Moore info
From: GUEST,#
Date: 16 Jan 16 - 09:32 AM


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Subject: RE: Help: need Blind Oscar Moore info
From: GUEST,#
Date: 16 Jan 16 - 12:30 PM

Sorry, wrong guy.

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Subject: RE: Help: need Blind Oscar Moore info
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 16 Jan 16 - 02:35 PM

The Magic Lantern Gazette    Volume 25, Number 4 Winter 2013
George Reed Cromwell (1835-1899): America's Most Famous Forgotten Magic Lantern Showman
Kentwood D. Wells 451 Middle Turnpike Storrs CT 06268
Professor Cromwell Barnum-like sense of showmanship is also evident in his participation in some distinctly low-brow entertainments. In 1889, while lecturing at the Bijou Opera House in New York, Cromwell added to his show an appearance by Blind Oscar Moore, an African-American child said to have a phenomenal memory:
A tiny, sightless, negro child, scarcely more than a baby, entertained, amused and instructed a big audience at the Grand opera house. This little fellow was not half as high as the chair beside which he stood;
and the top of a coachman's whip, which he held in his hand, towered away above his head. The little mahogany prodigy is named Oscar Moore; he is 3 years and a half old, and he will add in a striking and peculiar manner to the list of infant phenomena. Last night Prof. Cromwell had him as a new feature in connection with his illustrated art lectures.
Oscar's specialty is his memory. He is a walking encyclopedia for facts and a living arithmetic for figures. Hundreds of questions were fired at him, covering all sorts of subjects, from the number of seconds in a year to the population of the principal cities in China and the number of letters in the Bible……
'Now, Oscar, speak up and tell the ladies and gentlemen how many inhabitants has London,' began Prof. Cromwell. But Oscar was busy playing with the chair beside which he stood and laughed gleefully as he nearly knocked it over. Then the whip which he held in his hand became interesting and he hammered the end of it on the floor as any other baby might have done. Finally, having sufficiently amused himself he condescended to pipe out in a high falsetto: 'London has a population of 3,532,441. A great many other cities followed in rapid succession.66
The paper went on to describe numerous other feats of memory: reciting the alphabet backwards, counting from 1 to 10 in a dozen different languages, including Latin and Greek, giving the year of Shakespeare's birth (although he did not know who Shakespeare was until told by Prof. Cromwell), etc. How all of this was made to fit into Cromwell's art lecture is not clear. Supposedly born in Waco, Texas, in 1885 to two former slaves, Blind Oscar Moore became a performer and toured the country for a number of years, at least until he was 6 years old, sometimes being described as "Prof. Moore" or "The Human Phonograph."67

67. Oscar Moore's performances were covered by newspapers around the country, all reporting remarkable feats of memory. Among the articles are: "A Colored Prodigy," Chicago Inter-Ocean, Oct. 28, 1888, p. 7; "Most Wondrous Phenomenon," Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 14, 1889, p. 1; "A Boy with a Memory, New York Times, Jan. 13, 1889; "Little Oscar Moore," New York Times, Jan. 28, 1889; "Little Oscar Moore," Kansas City Star, Feb. 2, 1889 (from the New York Times); "More Wonderful than Blind Tom," Cherokee Advocate [Tahlequah, Oklahoma], Feb. 13, 1889, p. 1; "Truly an Infant Prodigy," Galveston Daily News, June 11, 1889; "Is a Human Phonograph," New Haven Register, Feb. 17, 1892, p. 1; other announcements in New Haven Register, Feb. 19, Mar. 3, 5, 1892.

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Subject: RE: Help: need Blind Oscar Moore info
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 17 Jan 16 - 04:47 PM

Does anyone have the pamphlet cited in the first post? I do not find it listed in worldcat.
The songs sound like material one would find in a vaudeville/music hall entertainment. There is an interesting advert. in the BOSTON
first appearance of Moore. "First Appearance in the City of the Mental marvel" "195h Century Blind Tom Outdone" Possibly this
reference is to Tom Wiggins - see wiki: "Thomas "Blind Tom" Wiggins (May 25, 1849 – June 14, 1908, age 59) was an African American musical prodigy on the piano. He had numerous original compositions published and had a lengthy and largely successful performing career throughout the United States. During the 19th century, he was one of the best-known American performing pianists. Although he lived and died before autism was described, he is now regarded as an autistic savant."

Best wishes, Thomas.

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Subject: RE: Help: need Blind Oscar Moore info
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 20 Jan 16 - 10:40 AM

Anyone have information about the pamphlet cited in the
first post to this thread - publisher, date ???????

Wednesday, September 4, 1901

The wonder of the Century Tonight at Lusk's Hall

Blind Oscar Moore, the human phonograph and prodigy of the
world will be seen at Lusk's hall tonight, Moore is a little colored
boy 15 years of age, whose wonderful mental powers have
astonished the scientific world. He can answer withut hesitation
over 9000 historical, geographical, biblical and statistical
questions; he can name every state in the union and its capital, and
tell the number of its inhabitants. He can name all the books in the
bible, and can name all the presidents in the order in which they
served their country and give the birthpalce of each. These
are only a few of the things he can do. P.T.Barnum said of
him, "He is the prodigy of the world." Oliver Wendel Holmes,
the poet, sat for hours talking with him in Boston, and said,
"he is the most brainey child in the world." He has to his credit
flattering notices from the Dallas News, Houston Post and Victoria
Advocate, and in fact wherever he has been seen, has surprised
and delighted his audiences. He is endorsed by E.C. Morris, D.D.
pastor of the Centennial Baptist church of Helena, Ark.,
and in fact has elicited words of commendation wherever heard.
His appearance here will be an intellectual treat, and a large
audience whould see him.
Lusk's Hall tonight at 8:15, Admission 25 cents.

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