Prof. A. Victor Segno: Los Angeles’ Greatest Charlatan



Prof. A. Victor Segno, my favorite Los Angeles charlatan, has surfaced on EBay. This envelope is addressed to the author of “How to Be Happy Though Married,” “How to Have Beautiful Hair” and many other books on self-improvement and mentalism at his HQ on North Belmont Avenue. The envelope undoubtedly carried the equivalent of $1, for which the sender could be sure of a “success wave.”

Segno’s “success wave” (artist’s concept). Note the beautiful hair.

More about Segno in a 2007 blog post.

And a column in the Los Angeles Times in 2012.

Bidding on this item starts at $4.99.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1907, Found on EBay and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Prof. A. Victor Segno: Los Angeles’ Greatest Charlatan

  1. Reminds me of the ‘Colonial Coat Hanger’ scam of the early 80s in which the customer sent a requested $1.00 and received, yes, a nail in the mail.

    Then again, my favorite has to be the ad which simply stated ‘Send $1.00’ and it gave the address to which to send it. I remember hearing that the guy became a millionaire almost overnight, and no charges could be filed and no lawsuit could be enacted because there was no apparent fraud.

    From one Angelesphile to another, thanks for all of these fun, if sometimes disturbing, articles.


  2. Eve says:

    I have a ca. 1910 comedy record called “Happy Tho’ Married” (it’s the flip-side to “Cohen On the Telephone”). It’s actually pretty funny: “I called my wife ‘kitten’ till we were married for nine days–then she got HER eyes open.”


  3. John Sackville says:

    Victor Segno’s thought waves can still be accessed even today.


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