Chris Van Bern

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Chris Van Bern

Cover of Sphinx (Nov. 1911)
BornThomas Byrne
Liverpool, England
DiedFebruary 7, 1950
Leicester, England
CategoriesBooks by Chris Van Bern

Chris Van Bern (1871-1950), born Thomas Byrne in Liverpool of Irish parents was billed as "The Act that cannot be described" consisting of magic, music, quick changes and his Wine and Water trick.


His wife, Cora Lister (known as Iva Voyce), was his assistant. Many of his original effects were published by Will Goldston in his Locked Books series.

He early made a study of general science and psychology in New York, and received diplomas from the College for Science and the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York and Rochester City, and other institutions.[1]

Van Bern was a Gold Medalist and Life Member of the Inner Magic Circle and he did appear to hold the record for the number of high offices that he held in magic societies.[2]

Hon. President for;

  • Modern Magical League, Blackburn
  • Leeds Circle of Magicians
  • Glasgow Magic Society
  • Mystic 12, Glasgow

President and Founder of the Magic Circle, Barrow-In-Furness

President for;

  • Dewsbury Mystic 7
  • Trent Vale Order of Mystics
  • Southport Society of Sorcerers
  • Esoteric Society of Mystics, Liverpool
  • Society for the Investigating Psychic Happenings

Vice-President for;

  • Mahatma Circle of Magicians
  • Magicians’ Club, London
  • Leicester Magic Circle
  • Order of the Magi, Manchester
  • Sheffield Magical Society
  • Yorkshire Magical Society
  • Northern Magical Society, Liverpool
  • Wizards of the South, Southampton



  1. Sphinx, November 1911
  2. "Chris Van Bern’s ‘Society’ Record." The World’s Fair. December 21, 1940
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