Hugards Magic Monthly

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
JBA Janson
Posts: 37
Joined: January 21st, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Cagnes s/M France

Hugards Magic Monthly

Postby JBA Janson » August 31st, 2001, 4:22 am

The Fleming company published book versions of the HMM and Paul Fleming asked Fred Braue to give him a personal evaluation of the tricks published in the first two volumes. Braue was very wellread and a performing magician of quality - therefore it might be of interest and value to save Braue's viewpoints for the future.
The letter on volumes 1+2 is of October 2nd 1946:

Vol One:

no.1 Torn paper classic. I use a method similar, but not quite this. Still, I'd say that this one is workable and the trick is a good one, well done.

no.2 Flash Opening. This was from Jean's old act and he writes that it was always a good audience trick.

no.3 Hugard's Butterflies. Also from Jean's act, it's a trick I've planned to use and which so help me I shall very soon.
Double Reverse.As I recall, I used this and it was acceptable. Believe I discarded it for a better method. It's more or less pedestrian but for a novice in card work should be excellent.
Wand Production. This is really good - and I don't say that because I gave it to Jean. It really surprises an audience when done neatly. I don't know whose trick it was originally, someone told it to me.
Classic Coin Fold. More or less basic but good methods and fine for the newcomer.

no.4 Twelve Cards to Pocket. I'm not crazy about the method Blackledge gives. He gets afraid on the last three cards and stops; but this transit of the three cards at the end is the finale and makes or breaks the trick. Still, for a student it's worth studying.

no.5 Tried nothing in this one, but have (or had) my eye on the Cups and Bills.

no.6 Thimble Technique. This move is all right, deceptive and useful.
Serpent Hank is another I've planned someday to try out, with a few modifications. And Jamison has a few good presentation ideas.

no.7 Jamison's material reads well; haven't tried.
Backpalm section is good basic instruction.

no.8 Magno-touch by Meyer. Another I must try.

no.9 Ghost writing. This is good. One chap I know, however, asked a spectator to cut the pack and a perverse streak prompted the assistant to turn only the top card! Moral: "Cut the pack somewhere near the middle to make it harder."

no.10 Confusing Ladies is a good audience trick but you can miss on it, I forget why, but discarded it.
Coin Tapping Count is good presentation gambit.
Coin Extraction reads well and I'm trying it the day after the day after tomorrow (of course).

no.11 Greatest Four Ace Trick. This is a neat presentation of the double-facer four ace. There's nothing new in it, part of it was given by Merlin and before him by someone else; but for those who haven't used this (or these) methods, they've got a treat and a surprise coming. Double-facer four aces, properly handled, is one of the most baffling of all card tricks. For a really superb presentation (to the audience
) the method on page 353 of Expert Card Technique is one which can be recommended. When the spectator turns over the card which HE has been holding, and which he KNOWS is an ace -- you should see his expression! Having duly plugged ECT, to get back to Jamison's method: it's really good.
Reverse Interlude: This is good -- or it may have been because Charlie Miller did it.
Cube Root Extraction. For this type of thing this is ingenious.

no.12 Haven't actually used any of these, nor seen them done. However, four days from now I shall try........

Volume 2

no.1 Ditto

no.2 The same

no.3 The same

no.4 Jamison's Spot Stick routine is fine; have used it particularly doing hospital ward work and the kids like it.

no.5 Next week I plan to try......

no.6 I saw a boy of about 16 do this at a recent boy's magic show and despite his ineptness the effect was good, particularly when the spring flowers were withdrawn.

no.7 The Spirit Match. This is a useful thing to know. One point the author hints at but does not emphatically state: you must let the match burn until half the pasteboard is consumed - this will insure a complete action of the phosphorous striking head - heck, I mean that the trick will then work.

no.8 Cut and Restored String. This is a honey.
Shuffling Presentation: sliding over the top card a useful gambit.
One in Five. Somehow I missed Kaplan's trick and it reads extra good.

no.9 Again I plan to try.......

no 12. Double do as I do. This is an excellent trick, as it was when Martin Gardner put it in his Twelve Tricks. (Sniping at Kaufman).
The Secret Addition: This is the best single move to come out in card magic in a long time (said he modestly) It is easy , and it is, best of all, wholly deceptive. I sent Jean the first version a long time ago and put a confidential on it, then gave it for the magazine but forgot I'd subsequently worked out a little better routine. Jean gave this in a later issue. The pic in no.12 is wrong, wholly misleading, but the text is right. Proper methods is to take the four aces, say, face upwards and for a moment, in squaring, cover the pack. When the aces are lifted, take the two (or three,if the method calls for it) top face down cards along. Keep all well squared. Draw off the top face up card with the left thumb, flip it over face down wards a la Flipover Change (from which this sleight evolved). Repeat. The third time, in flipping the ace face downwards onto the deck, drop all the cards remaining in the right hand. Thumb off the top faced ace and flip downwards. This places the cards ace, indif, indif, ace, ace, ace from the top down.

On the whole I think there's more good material in Hugard's Monthly than all the remaining magazines ut together. Perhaps I'm prejudiced. Phoenix has had just one good trick which I plan to use (never mind when) in a year, and this is Lu Brent's idea of double-facing five dollar and dollar bills for use in a four-ace transposition idea. If the trick pays off, Phoenix has paid for the subsciption......."

I plan to come back with Braue's comments on volumes 3 and 4 later.


JBA Janson
Posts: 37
Joined: January 21st, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Cagnes s/M France

Re: Hugards Magic Monthly

Postby JBA Janson » August 31st, 2001, 8:29 am

Here is Braue's private evaluation of volumes 3 & 4 of HMM in a letter from Oct 6th 1947 to his friend Paul Fleming.

...Tricks listed are those which I know are good, either through personal use or through witnessing others do them. No reflection on other feats which may not have been tried.

Volume 3.

no.1 Gold and Silver. Good
Magnetized Wand. A nice quickie.
Interludes. All good standard.
A Knotty Interlude. Nice pocket trick or for small groups. All depends on how its done.
Miser's Dream. Haven't used this but have it checked for future use. Jean wrote about this, vouches for it.
Lightning Change. I understand this is a socko closeupper. There's a knack to it, which I haven't got but would like to have.

no.2 Flying Cigar Band. Pleasant quickie, also usable with thimbles.
Elastic Fingers. An oddity good for use while doing card work.
To the Top. This is a yes-and-no trick. Other methods are cleaner, better; still, the thing will work as advertised.
Production Glass Liquid. Practical, very surprising; I've used it for years from time to time.
Secret Addition. This is the best method for setting up for a four ace trick; now accepted as a standard move.
Pulse Trick. A useful swindle.
Sleeving as an Art. Useful instruction.
Lightning Change. Extensions on previous piece and good ideas.
Magnetic Wand: Good effect but bothersome getting set.
Laundry Ticket. Good tip

no.3 Name your Number. Simple very effective. Again, it's how you do it.
Cut and Restored Rope. Really good routining of one of the best methods. See same next issue.
Uncle and Gambler. Fine closeupper.
Substitutes for Double Lift: These are good standard moves.
Coin Vanish. Good.

no.4 Cone and Flowers. Jean discussed this in the East and it should be a fine flash effect.
Making Paper Cone. A small thing, but important.
Cut and Restored Rope: Excellent method of tying feke piece.
Interlude. A foolish thing, but funny.
Impromptu Routine. A really excellent routine.
1.85 Trick. Understand this is good.
Transmutation. I've seen this done, it's all right but a lot of get set.

no.5 Formula. Good knowledge to have.
Follow the Leader. I saw Pittman do this; it's fine, one of the good methods.
BF Card Control: All right.
Interlude with Marbel. This is extremely good. Maldo, out here, finishes by dropping the duplicate marble from his mouth.
Dexterity. A useful thing to remember; it's fun.

no.6 Knots to You. An oldie, it's still good.
Flash Paper. Useful.
Interlude: Fun.
Card Magic: Good.
Vanishing Silk: Good.
Can you spell. Others like this trick but I find that people are way ahead of you on it; they know it's a set up and the surprise, or 'shock' element hence is missing.

no.7 Mental Marvels. In the East I heard that this was socko.
Flowers. Nice flash which Christopher used in his act.
Flopso Reverso. Planned to try this but never did.
One Hand Riffle Shuffle. This is now standard, it caught on like wildfire. Good.
Silk Dyeing by Hand: Good.
Card Castle. Seen performed, the Card Castle is always effective.

no.8 Glimpsing Future. I've heard this is good, practiocal
Christopher: Like the material he uses.
Afghan Band: Interesting.
Specks in Specs: A useful bit of knowledge to have, can be used on occasion.
Spelling Formula. Ditto.
Card Magic. Good.
Ancient Swindle: Good.

no.9 Telepathy without Tears. This is one of the best after-dinner puzzle-tricks. It exasperates people.
Rope Cutting Tie Up. Bert Allerton uses this to close his rope-cutting routine, and claims that it alone is worth a dozen years' subscription to HMM.
Long Distance. Very popular with readers of HMM.
Christopher Thimble Routine. Good. The spool idea is particularly good with spectators.

no.10 Christoper: Good.
On the Beam. Extraordinarily good closeupper.
Illusive Knot. A puzzler.

no.11 Action Test-Chrisopher. This is good, have used and it puzzles them.
Automatic Deck. Jean's routine. Excellent for occasions which warant a slow trick.
Thimble Holder. A neat idea.

no.12 Coins Through Table. Good.
Two Matches. Neat table trick. Have seen Rosini do it.
Drop Vanish. Roy Benson does this beautifully.

Volume 4

no.1 Pack Tearing. Useful information.
Magic by Telephone. This is a good trick of the mathematical type; a little long-winded, but a puzzler, for those who like to reason out methods. For others it is boring.
Evolution of Knot. Good methods, the first of which is new to me.
Billiard Balls. Good instructions.

no.2 Infallible Indicator. This thing, properly done, is a honey.
Miaco's lemon. Understand this is good.
Christopher. Good ideas.

no.3 Christopher's telepathy ideas: Clever, probably good.
Homing Card. Jean tells me this is good in Cohn's hands.
Invisible Rabbit. Useful idea.
Coins thru Table. Excellent routine.
Jet Propelled Match. Saw Al Altman do this, very effective.

no.4 Challenge Grand Slam. This is MacDougall's routine with which he got the write-up in Reader's Digest. Scarne dislikes MacDougall and hence gave Jean the method to spite MacDougall without telling Jean the source. When I was East Scarne confided that he couldn't wait until he found out what McD's reaction was. A reputation-maker for those with the ability and nerve. (That business about Scarne-McD is confidential).
Who'll give. Neatly done, this is good.
Okito Card Control. This is an easy, deceptive control. It is best to make several cuts among the cards above the break before finally making the cut at the lower packet, thus transposing it to the top. This has deceived some good card men.

no.5 Faith Hope. Should be excellent since these paper tears are liked by audiences.
Ball Sleights. These are good.
Magic Spell. Clever Vernon idea which is even better as given in Vernon plus Braue, page 281. Note that the AS should be the AC - typographical error at printers.
Wacs and Doughboys. Neat idea.

no.6 Billiard Ball Finale. I should say that this was good, but no personal experience.
Coin Apport. Clever presentation.
Poker Hand. This is first rate, always polishes them off.

no.7 Walking Ball. Excellent for those who can master it. A Roy Benson ball move, with which he closed his act a number of years ago.
Best Impromptu Four Aces. A good routine.
Super Optical Illusion. Surefire for close-up.
Smith Family. Nice presentation of the ball trick, I've used it, although in a slightly different handling.
Challenge Color Change. A good one - I've used it for ten years and it's fast, neat, illusive.
Moola. Nice presentation.
Vernon plus Braue. This is good.

no.8 Cords etc. Should say OK but no experience.

no.9 Magician borrows. Understand this is good.
Push in Vanish. Understand good.
Card Magic. Good.

no.10 Guessing is Fun. Eddie Clever, who does this sort of thing, writes that this is excellent.
Merlini's Magic. Good routine, in fact excellent.
Christopher. Ring tricks given are good.
Card Magic. Good.
Perfect Poker Problem. Good.

no.11 Torn Tissue. Jean's material, should be good.
Merlini. Well liked by local subscribers.
Lazy Man's. Reportedly good.

no.12 Money to Burn. Is good.
Vested Interest. A shock trick, good."

In my files I do not have any other letters covering Braue's evaluation of later volumes of HMM.
In other words - this is it!
:) :) :)

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 22962
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC

Re: Hugards Magic Monthly

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 31st, 2001, 11:45 am

GREAT STUFF!!! I hope you historically oriented guys out there are reading these fascinating excerpts from Fred Braue's letters posted by Jan Janson.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine


Re: Hugards Magic Monthly

Postby Guest » August 31st, 2001, 12:49 pm

I am reading them and enjoying them immensely. Thanks for the interesting anecdotes.


Re: Hugards Magic Monthly

Postby Guest » August 31st, 2001, 2:10 pm

Thanks for the great postings, Jan. Hope to make it out to L.A. in November. It will be great to see you again!

JBA Janson
Posts: 37
Joined: January 21st, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Cagnes s/M France

Re: Hugards Magic Monthly

Postby JBA Janson » September 1st, 2001, 12:45 pm

Thanks a lot for your kind words.

There is no more Braue evaluation of tricks in HMM, but Hugard himself, in a letter to Paul Fleming Sep 19 1949, gave a summary of what he thought was the best material in volumes 5 + 6. The info is not as detailed and interesting as Braue's, however for the record I just wish to add this. Here goes:

....." I enclose a list of some of the tricks which I know are being used. These are the ones that I have either seen used or which others have told me they have seen the tricks performed. It is impossible to say how much of the material in the two volumes is being used by amateurs, but judging by the letters I get a very large proportion has been adopted by many hobbyists.
It is not an easy matter to get enough good, useable material for each month's issue - indeed I have never yet succeeded in getting a month's supply ahead....."

...."Tricks from Hugard's Magic Monthly which have been widely adopted by the profession.
SUPER OPTICAL ILLUSION - George Sands. The rapid spread of this trick can only be compared to that of "Out of this world" and "Six card repeat".
LITTLE WONDER THOUGHT PROJECTOR - Clatton Rawson. Also widely adopted by professionals and amateaurs alike.
CHALLENGE GRAND SLAM - John Scarne. This and the following tricks I know have been added by professionals to their program.
TELEPATHY FOR TWO - Dr Chester Miller
GUESSING IS FUN - George Engel
IT FLOATS - The Great Bohleno
It is impossible to estimate the amount of material adopted from Milbourne Christopher's monthly column. It is undoubted the most popular column in magical journalism.
Of the large number of sleights with billiard balls, cards, coins, silks, thimbles, etc which appear in these two volumes many have now become standard practice with magicians."

OK this is it. :)

Return to “Magic History and Anecdotes”