John A. Bristol

Pseudonym of Jack Speer.

The first truly noted successful fan hoax and quite possibly a direct influence on the Carl Brandon hoax. Bristol was actually Jack Speer; when he moved from one address in Washington, D.C., to another in 1938, he had his own mail forwarded and used the new address to create Bristol. By giving Bristol a full background life, easing him into fandom gradually, and taking great care to have him speak like a newcomer and use a style of writing and grammar quite different from his own, and perhaps particularly for giving him editorial credit for the first Fancyclopedia, Speer had most of fandom convinced that Bristol was real. Donald Wollheim, who knew that Speer's middle name was Bristol, had his suspicions, but the hoax was not actually exposed until the 1939 Nycon I, now acknowledged as the first Worldcon, during which Speer wore a John Bristol name tag – thus, perhaps, influencing the manner in which the Brandon hoax was revealed.

Contributors: Dr. Gafia

from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
A permutation of the name of John Bristol Speer, with "speir" translated to its Scottish meaning "ask". Tho suggested while Speer was in Oklahoma City, the hoax was not undertaken till the fall of '38 when he moved from one address in Washington DC to another, and gave the new address as Bristol's, keeping the former one himself and having the Post Office readdress mail coming to him. By giving Bristol a full background of life, easing him in gradually and taking great care to have him speak like a neofans and use a style of writing and grammar quite different from his own, Speer got him generally accepted as a new fan, who presently met Speer and associated with him. Wollheim, who knew from old time that Speer's middle name was Bristol, thought it was his father's before him and communicated his suspicions to the other Futurians — despite which Lowndes says he was inclined to believe his correspondent Bristol was not Speer. Rothman was Told All when he moved to Washington, DC, and the mask was finally dropped at the NYCon I. (An article, however, had to call attention to this; Speer wore a "John Bristol" nametag, but those who knew him didn't look at it and those who'd never seen him before took the thing at its face value.) "Bristol" occasionally received mail for years after the exposure, and is still sometimes used as a pename — most notably on the original Fancyclopedia.
from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944
A permutation of the name of John Bristol Speer, with "speer" translated to its Scottish meaning "to ask". Hoax suggested to Wilson while Speer was in Oklahoma City, it was not undertaken until the fall of '38 when he moved from one address in Washington DC to another, and gave the new address as Bristol's, keeping the former one himself and having the post office readdress mail coming to him. By giving Bristol a full background of life, easing him in gradually, and taking great care to have him speak like a newcomer and use a style of writing and grammar quite different from his own, Speer got him generally accepted as a new fan, who presently met Speer and associated with him. However, Wollheim knew from old time that Speer's middle name was Bristol, thot it was his father's before him, and communicated his suspicions to the other Futurians; despite which, Lowndes says he was inclined to believe his correspondent Bristol was not Speer. Rothman was told all when he moved to Washington, and the mask was finally dropped at the New York Convention. But Bristol occasionally received mail after that, and is still sometimes used as a pename.