The Magic Word

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The Magic Word (A Masque) or Wenonah was a massive outdoor pageant produced on November 2, 1916 by the Social Science Department of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company (TCI) to mark the change of the name of the Fossil mining camp to "Wenonah".

The pageant was commissioned from and directed by New York-based artist and playwright Frederick Kitson Cowley (1884–1931). TCI executives formed a "Central Masque Committee" to produce the work while employees were recruited for the cast.


  • Cowley, Frederick Kitson (1916) Wenonah, or, The magic word Birmingham: Deptartment of Social Science. Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company
  • Rikard, Marlene Hunt (June 1981) "Wenonah: The Magic Word." Journal of the Birmingham Historical Society" Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 2-9