Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References pls

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erdnasephile
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Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References pls

Postby erdnasephile » September 19th, 2015, 5:59 pm

Back in the day, magic catalog ads that contained stereotypical images of Asians were not uncommon.

I am preparing a presentation regarding these images and would like to find a few specific magic catalogs where they were most common to use as examples.

Does anyone happen to know which magic dealers' catalogs (and in what years) would be most likely to turn up the most examples of these types of images?

Many thanks!
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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 19th, 2015, 6:03 pm

Asians meaning Pakistanis? Or those 1900-1960 cutsie attempts at yellowface folks used to do when trying to seem "velly cleva"? Cringe.

Did you like the lotta bowl finding from a while ago?

look for Temple Screen, Chinese Sticks, Chinese Linking Rings... whole lotta yellowface going on back then.
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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Brad Jeffers » September 19th, 2015, 7:10 pm

erdnasephile,

After reading your post I picked up a copy of the 1947 Kanter's catalog, which coincidentally was just within arms reach.

I opened it to a random page and immediately saw what you are looking for. Page 197 has "The Tubes of Buddha", which were decorated with a highly stereotypical Asian character.

Looking further, I found the "Confucius Card Trick" page 53, the "Chinese Rope Chain Mystery" page 103, "No Tickee - No Shirtee" and the "Chu Gum Long Paper Mystery" both on page 168.

Then there is "The Chink Laundry Ticket" page 169 and "The Chink Rice Cans" page 229.

And let's not forget the "Jewel Chest of Chen-Lee" page 208, the "Ching-Soo Firecracker Trick" page 216.

And on page 203 you'll find the "Wu-Ling Pagoda Mystery", which was probably the inspiration for Steve Martin's "Chinese Mystery Pagoda Box of the Dead".

There are more, but need I go on :ugeek:

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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Bill Marquardt » September 19th, 2015, 8:10 pm

Are you limiting your research to magic catalogues? If not, look up the vintage Funny Face drink mix packages from the sixties. One flavor was Chinese Cherry (along with Injun Orange.) The two flavors were renamed eventually.

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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby erdnasephile » September 19th, 2015, 8:26 pm

Hi, Brad: I'll hunt down that catalog. Thanks for the lead.

Bill: Yes, I'm limiting myself to magic advertisements for the purposes of the presentation.

Jon: Thanks for the leads as well.
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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 19th, 2015, 8:58 pm

Hey Bill, I used to love Funny Face drinks when I was a kid. Don't remember the racist ones, though!
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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Joe McIntyre » September 20th, 2015, 8:06 am

Tannen's catalog no.11.1975 will help you also.

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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Bill Marquardt » September 20th, 2015, 10:54 am

The only catalog I owned back in the day was "500 Tricks" from Douglas Magicland. I recall that it included a couple of so-called Chinese tricks, but I do not remember whether or not the depictions were racist in nature so I am afraid I cannot be much help there.

Richard - I can specifically remember when the commercials on Saturday morning TV changed the cherry flavor to "Choo-Choo Cherry" and my mother commenting that she knew they would have to change the name. We've come a long way since then but not far enough.

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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Zig Zagger » September 20th, 2015, 12:47 pm

erdnasephile,

I think almost any magic catalog will give you similar results, as it was common to reproduce the illustrations provided by the trick producers.

I have before me Abbott's Catalog No. 6 from 1940, Tannen's Catalog No. 6 from 1966 and the Supreme Magic Catalogue from 1989. All of them feature many stereotypical depictions of Chinese, Oriental or Indian magi.

Just some blatant Chinese examples:

Abbott: "Abbott's Chinese Coin Magic/The Greatest of All Coin Tricks", p. 105; "The Tubes of Budda", p. 157; "Abbott's Modern Lota", p. 249; "Modern Aerial Fishing", p. 287; "Bawden's Bowls", p. 381; "Chinese Laundry Ticket", p. 397

Tannen: "Chinese Puzzle Box", p. 15; "No Tickie - No Shirtee", p. 31; "Chinatown Quarter", p. 105; "The Chinese Pipes of Simplex", p. 119; "Grant's Chink Cans", p. 276; "Chinese Bird Canister", p. 366

Supreme: "Chinese Wishing Papers", p. 277; "China Tea", p. 339; "Confetti Can", p. 343; "The Hung-Too Card Prediction", p. 457; "Soo Coin Trick", p. 503; "Two Wongs Make a White", p. 587

As a questionable extra, see "Eeny-Meeney-Miney-Mo!" presenting "four little black boys, amusingly depicted and beautifully printed", p. 181.
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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 20th, 2015, 1:30 pm

There is a startling example of this type of racial characterization, though with a black figure rather than an Asian, still being used in a catalogue.
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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Diego » September 20th, 2015, 2:52 pm

Some images could be looked upon as dated, others, (now by more) as insulting/stereotypical.

The stereotypical images on some magic dealer's products should be noted as well. Obvious are the Temple Screens with images of Buddha, or the, "Buddha Tubes"...what would some,(correctly) say about a performer, producing silks with gag images, or rubber chickens, from "Jesus Tubes"?!

Going from images to words, "Chink-a-Chink"(originally using coins from Asian countries)was/is a direct slur...even those who use other objects today performing it, are incapable of drawing from the English language to give it another name. "Jap Box", and the list goes on.

As noted in previous posts, 3 generations of GENII publishers, have spoken out against demeaning perceptions/labels/depictions, of Asians and others, for nearly 80 years.

Look at the image(s) in recent "Basil the Baffling", cartoons in M.U.M., and see some still can't/won't get it.

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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Brad Jeffers » September 20th, 2015, 4:02 pm

Diego wrote:...what would some,(correctly) say about a performer, producing silks with gag images, or rubber chickens, from "Jesus Tubes"?!


So what about this version of Hippity Hop Rabbits ...

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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Diego » September 20th, 2015, 5:33 pm

I have also seen Gospel Magic dealers selling Temple Screens, (and other props) with Jesus on them as well.
I can be said those props are used by Gospel magic and Sunday school workers to demonstrate positive Gospel messages, as well as to give positive messages about Jesus himself.
I have never seen anyone use Buddha tubes/screens using a reference to Buddha/Buddhism, positive or otherwise.

This could be for another Topic, but could the use of props with images of Jesus or Christian symbols, for Gospel magic presentations, be regarded as inappropriate, trivializing, or offensive to some? (It can be said the Gospel magic worker wouldn't intentionally want that perception.)

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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby erdnasephile » September 20th, 2015, 8:00 pm

Thanks, everybody! I was able to find a lot of those catalogs and they should be arriving soon. Appreciate it!

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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 20th, 2015, 8:25 pm

Diego wrote:... "Chink-a-Chink"(originally using coins from Asian countries)was/is ...


Seems to have been sugar cubes and IIRC no ethnic slurs ever intended. Sachs Sleight of Hand -> Stars of Magic Malini item. Using coins happened much later without the "chinkachink" patter. I recall Geoff Latta using the line "this is how they play checkers in Tibet" once and again no ethnic parody in sound effects.

It gets funnier if you look carefully at the dragon/pheonix coins.

anyway - these days it looks like there's more parody of hip-hop
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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Zig Zagger » September 28th, 2015, 1:32 pm

I have extracted a dozen of these Chinese depictions under discussion. So if you do not own any magic catalogs, you can have a look at them over at my magic blog:

https://zzzauber.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/stereotypes-in-magic-catalogs/

As an extra, I also display “Eeny-Meeney-Miney-Mo!” presenting “four little black boys, amusingly depicted and beautifully printed” from the catalog of Supreme Magic.
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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References

Postby Zig Zagger » October 18th, 2015, 1:32 pm

For those of you who are interested, I have added about a dozen more stereotypical depictions of Chinese magi from the pages of various European magic catalogs.

You can take a look at them here at my magic blog:

https://zzzauber.wordpress.com/2015/10/ ... atalogs-2/

I am also preparing a short compilation of questionable catalog depictions of Blacks, Indians, and Native Americans right now. Whew...

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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References pls

Postby Brad Jeffers » May 13th, 2017, 5:53 pm

It seems that the offensive stereotypical Asian images used in the marketing of magic tricks is a thing of the past.

In these more enlightened times; however, you do seem to see a lot of this ...

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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References pls

Postby Bob Farmer » May 13th, 2017, 6:19 pm

Is there a "Fooled" and "Fooled Again" sucker effect with Jesus?

I could never reconcile how magic, which works with lies and deception, could be used to communicate a religious truth or belief. If the performer is lying about one thing, is he lying about the other and how do you tell the difference?

As to prejudice and stereotypes: When I was a kid (about 10 years old), I was doing a magic show for children at an Orange Lodge Christmas party. For those who don't know, the Orangemen were (or are) an organization in Canada that, to put it mildly, don't like Catholics (see the Northern Ireland "troubles" where this all goes back to).

Anyway, one of the head Orangeman comes over and asks me what school I attended. Whoops--it was St. Francis. Whoops, major cafuffle. I'm told I can do my act but I have to leave after that: no ice cream with the other kids. I don't understand any of this, but my father comes to pick me up, a bit amused I'm doing a gig with the Orangemen. I tell him what happened and he explains it's prejudice, a word I don't know. He says, it's when you don't like somebody you don't know. Yep, we decided that was really dumb.

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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References pls

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 13th, 2017, 9:35 pm

Zig Zagger, your website crashed my Firefox browser. Also, it appears that you are putting your own titles on these drawings.
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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References pls

Postby magicam » May 13th, 2017, 10:08 pm

'Bob Farmer' inexplicably wrote:I could never reconcile how magic, which works with lies and deception, could be used to communicate a religious truth or belief. If the performer is lying about one thing, is he lying about the other and how do you tell the difference?
Someone has obviously hijacked Bob's account ...

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Re: Magic catalogs w/ stereotypical Asian images. References pls

Postby Zig Zagger » May 16th, 2017, 4:25 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Zig Zagger, your website crashed my Firefox browser.

Sorry to hear that, Richard! However, I have a standard WordPress licence and have been using Firefox myself for years without any problems... So I'm afraid I have no clue whether it was my website and how or why...?

Richard Kaufman wrote:Also, it appears that you are putting your own titles on these drawings.

Not sure what you mean? All images were photographed from my magic catalog collection and of course posted unaltered.
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