William James Maurice Bottle Datas: The Memory Man

Can anybody throw more light on William James Maurice Bottle Datas: The Memory Man who appeared in the 39 steps?
Not much info on line.
He appears to be similar to the ‘Chasers’ on TV.
I’m also curious about how Chasers memorize their material.

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Maybe we’re thinking of different versions of the movie. But in the original Hitchcock version, the character of “Mr. Memory” was performed by Wylie Watson, an actor playing a fictional, scripted character.


Sorry meant to say Wylie Watson’s character was based on i believe.

I’m not familiar with the movie, but it looks like he might have written a book in 1932, Datas: the Memory Man. By Himself. (With Plates, Including Portraits) by DATAS. William J. M. Bottle. There is a little more information here.

This page says that a book called Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women by Ricky Jay has a chapter on him. According to that book, he also wrote a book called Memory by “Datas”, a Simple System of Memory Training, which is online as a PDF.

Edit: you can download it at the link below.

Thanks Josh appreciate you looking into it

would love to read Datas: the Memory Man. By Himself.
Thanks again


Here are some posts from my old blog on Datas:



Thanks so much jgenovese!
I found that most interesting

Just by chance I came across this book by Datas on eBay

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I got it! Thanks for mentioning this here!


:smiley::smiley::smiley: great!

the PDF link yields a 403

As far as I can tell, the book is not available online.


It must have been removed changed. I’ve linked to a different source.

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you can get it here and in Kindle. It says its in the public domain but I cant find it.

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I was able to find it here at Google Books. It looks like you can download as PDF and EPUB.


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hi mskolnik
I saw it there but cant see pdf/epub download
here bookshop https://biblio.co.uk/book/memory-datas-simple-system-memory-training/d/1202719253

Hi maxo,

If you click on the gear symbol in the upper right corner, there are several options including download EPUB and download PDF.

Here’s a PDF version:


You can find an Indian reprint on AbeBooks. I’ve never been happy with the quality.


Thanks for chasing that down!