Bank Night

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Guest » 09/17/02 08:04 PM

I am researching the beginings of the effect we affectionatly call Bank night. Tarbell says :"Some years ago British magicians brought to this country a mystery known as Bank Night..."
<Tarbell 5:62> Informative as this is does anyone have anything further and does anyone know if the rights to bank night are owned by anyone or has this gone public domain so to speak?
Any help would be appreciated.
KW
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Postby M. Sibbernsen » 09/17/02 09:58 PM

According to T.A. Waters Encyclopedia of Magic and Magicians, "Bank Night" (aka "Just Chance" in Great Britain), is usually credited to Tom Sellers.
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Postby Mike Rose » 09/20/02 07:20 AM

Bart Whaley's "Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic" has this listing:

Bank Night; Bank Nite [US]
n. Effect where spectators freely take all but one of several envelopes, one of which contains paper money; the remaining one-the magician's-is always found to be the one with the money; Just Chance (Brit.).
[fairly common]

Invented by Scottish magician Tom Sellers and published by him as "It's Only Chance" in 1935 in his booklet Novel Necromancy (pp.7-8). Renamed by him as "It's Just Chance" in 1939. An instant success in depression-ridden Britain, but much less so in the US until popularized in June 1939 by Ballard with the British contingent that attended the IBM annual convention at Battle Creek, Michigan. Modifications were made in the method by Floyd Thayer (who had first marketed it in 1936 as "Bank Night"), Braun and Judah (in 1937 as "Bingo"), Sid Lorraine (in 1939 as "Dollar Day"), Joe Karson (as "Fat Chance"), and Dr. R. Beebe (in 1946).
REF: Lenier (l979); Lorraine in Jinx #61 (1939), 435; Abbott's Catalog No.6 (1940), 231; Sellers, Scot's Magic (1939), 23; Tarbell, V (1948), 183.

I hope this helps.

Mike Rose
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Postby Guest » 09/21/02 12:30 PM

Further information on Tom Sellers and some early effects can be found on Peter Duffie's web site. He was the first to have a label appear on the inside of a bottle, published perhaps the earliest "Confabulation" type effect and Supreme published a hardcover Sellers book.

For me, the best version was by Marvoyan and appeared in "Bolivian Brain Bafflers".

Paul.
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