We next find this young wizard building intricate stage illusions and apparatus for several of the outstanding magicians of the time. including Thurston and the Great Herman. For Thurston he built the first of a series of mystifying levitation illusions. 'The Fying Woman." This particular illusion was called Lunett. the Fying Lady. the subject being a real live girl who would fly all over the stage and through hoops at different angles. in front of a backdrop of black velvet. This proved a most popular illusion and pleased audiences wherever shown.
Mr. DeVry next brought together a carnival in which he used the electric fountain and some of the illusions and mechanical figures. During 1905 and 1906.this carnival traveled all over northern Colorado and Wyoming. In 1908. Mr. DeVry was the first person to build and attempt to fly a plane in Tulsa. Oklahoma. He gave up this venture after two unsuccessful attempts. Tulsa papers carried the story after his death.
During these years in show business. Herman continued to dream of some type of portable motion picture projector. thus making it possible to bring motion pictures to a larger number of people than the limited theatres of that day. He also had accumulated a fund of mechanical experience. having worked with cameras and projectors. It was while he operated the repair shop in Denver that he became familiar with all types and with the faults of projection and camera equipement.
In 1910, he moved to Chicago. Illinois and became a cameraman for the Rothacker Corporation. It was here, during his spare time. that he began to work on what was to be the world's first portable motion picture projector, or the Theatre in a Suitcase.
During this period he exhibited throughout the first flight theatre circuits one of the first travel lecture films called Around the World in 90 Minutes. During 1913 he took a trip to Texas and exhibited this film, which was made up partly of his own camera work and partly from various foreign sources. Records also indicate that on his tour he featured elaborate theatre lobby displays of unique trophies gathered from the four corners of the earth.
In 1912 we find him devoting more time to experimental work on his portable projector. However. most of his time was devoted to the production of movies which he sold to weekly news reels which were just starting up and were glad to get original material of this character. His customers included Pathe, Universal. Melies, Eclipse.
In 1913 he finally quit the road and started in earnest to make his dream of a portable motion picture projector come true. His laboratory and factory were in the basement of his home. To help finance his experimental work on his Theatre in a Suitcase. he built calliopes for circus use. In 1913 he formed the DeVry Corporation for the manufacture of his 35mm port