Which Jack Lippincott invented the box?

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Postby Lippincott » 10/19/10 06:34 PM

My great uncle, John Wright (Jack) Lippincott, born in St. Louis 1909, was an amateur magician and we think that he might have invented the Lippincott Box, but can't find anything on the web to prove or disprove that. Can someone point me in the right direction?
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Postby Joe Pecore » 10/19/10 06:50 PM

I think so. Based on an old Max Maven Genii Inquisition:

"Jack Lippincott invented an efficient device for vanishing or producing a small object. Today it is best known under its inventor's name as "The Lippincott Box." But, when it was first marketed by Holden's in 1949, the title was "Quarter Go."
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Postby Lippincott » 10/19/10 07:11 PM

Yes, but there could have been ten guys named Jack Lippincott in 1949, any one of whom could have created the box. I was hoping that someone might know where the inventor lived, etc. My great-uncle was a prof. at Washington University in St. Louis. Maybe that helps?? Thanks for responding!! Cindy
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Postby Joe Pecore » 10/19/10 07:44 PM

I don't think the magic community is that big :)


Here is the information from "Who's Who in Magic" by Bart Whaley

Lippincott, Jack
(USA: fl.l950s-60s) Professor of psychology.
Amateur magician. Invented Lipplecott coin box (by 1962).
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Postby Philippe Billot » 10/20/10 03:02 AM

According again to Bart Whaley, there are only TWO magicians named Lippincott. Here is the second:

Lippincott, Malcom
(USA: 5 Dec 1895- ) Pro since 1915, originally with circus until 1919 when he began touring his own magic act. In 1922 added mind-reading act with assistant-wife Maxine. Did mainly private society shows from 1923 until the Great Depression years of the 1930s when he played mainly schools, theaters, & fairs. [St]

If someone knows when this gentleman passes away...
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Postby Joe Pecore » 10/20/10 05:37 AM

But only one Jack :)

I see a listing in the Linking Ring giving Jack Lippincott's death as October 15, 1994.

Still looking for Malcom's.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 10/20/10 05:43 AM

I see "Malcom" spelled "Malcolm" in various magazines if that helps Philippe. I also see "Mal B. Lippincott" with an IBM no. 855.
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Postby Lippincott » 10/20/10 11:37 AM

Wow! You nailed down the identification with the date of death, which is the same one listed in our family papers. Thanks so much! My brother and I didn't know that side of the family at all, so we don't even know if Jack had children, but we're working on figuring it out. Your input was a great help. Thank you. Cindy
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Postby Bill Mullins » 10/20/10 08:31 PM

From the Social Security Death Index:

Jack W. Lippincott b 14 Oct 1904, d 15 Oct 1994

If you are interested in Geneaology, you can get his SSN from the SSDI. With it, you can get a copy of his application for a Social Security Card, which often has other family information.

His Death Certificate should be available from Vital Records in Missouri, which will also have other family info.
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Postby DonRataj » 11/18/10 06:55 PM

I have researched and found that Jack Lippencott was the President of IBM ring One in St. Louis at 1946. He was also at the 1946 18th annual convention in St. Louis that same year.
Will ask the older members to see if they remember seeing the box as described.
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Postby Spellbinder » 07/07/11 04:04 PM

Does anyone have a photo of Jack Lippincott? I'd like one for my Brief Biographies of Magic Inventors: http://www.magicnook.com/forum/bioKLM.htm
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Postby Philippe Billot » 07/08/11 03:11 AM

Lippincott's Quarter Go was reviewed by Don Alan in Genii 1958 December :

"LIPPINCOTT'S QUARTER GO with routine: (Don Alan)
This is an old favorite of mine and is an excellent pocket trick. A marked quarter is placed under a handkerchief and given to spectator to hold. A beautiful wooden padlocked chest (it now comes in a natural blonde finish) is placed upon another spectator's palm, and an unprepared glass tumbler is
placed on top of the chest. The handkerchief is held over mouth
of glass. Spectator drops coin into glass. It is heard to clink. Handkerchief is whisked away and the chest is unlocked by spectator and contains the marked quarter. No glass discs or trick glass used glass and chest can be passed out
for examination. Martin' Magic Shop, P. O. Box 413, Peoria, Illinois, or your dealer. Priced at $5.00."

You have also an Ad in Genii 1958 April, page 275 where you can see a drawing of the box.
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Postby hugmagic » 07/09/11 07:04 PM

I just stumbled on a large article on Mal Lippincott in the September 1949 Linking Ring. Apparently, this gentleman was a rep player, among other things. He ended up making his home in Louisville, KY.

I remember Harold Martin telling me how he was the first to advertise and bring out the Lippincott box.

Maybe this is another gentleman.

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Postby hugmagic » 07/09/11 07:18 PM

Looking further in the same issue, you will find an ad by Don Redmon inside the back cover for "Lippincott's Quarter Go". This appears to be the same gentleman Mal (Malcom) Lippincott from Louisville. Price $2.75.

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Postby Joe Pecore » 07/09/11 07:43 PM

Great finds! Looks like is Mal Lippincott, not Jack that invented the box!

Max Maven may have to issue a correction for his "Inquisition" in July 2007 issue of Genii where it states "Jack Lippincott invented an efficient device for vanishing or producing a small object. Today it is best known under its inventor's name as "The Lippincott Box." But, when it was first marketed by Holden's in 1949, the title was '______ Go.' Fill in the blank"

:)
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Postby hugmagic » 07/09/11 08:26 PM

It just goes to show why it is important to keep an old stack of magazines by the couch to look through now and then.

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Postby Joe Pecore » 07/09/11 09:17 PM

I put a copy of the ad on http://www.geniimagazine.com/magicpedia/Lippincott_Box in case anyone wants to see that it does state "Routine used by Mal Lippincott".
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 07/09/11 11:02 PM

looks like we have some history of "The Donald"'s double combover there too.
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Postby Spellbinder » 07/14/11 02:21 AM

The Martin's Magic Shop ad in Genii is identical to the one from the September 1949 Linking Ring with the exception of the last line "Routine as used by Mal Lippincott." I'm not convinced that is a statement intended to identify him as the creator of the box, but only of the routine. To me the box seems identical to the Watch Box pictured in Hoffmann's "Modern Magic" only smaller and used in reverse. The mystery gets curiouser and curiouser the more I dig into it.

The original Holden Advertisement in Genii, January 1950 P. 168, makes no mention of the glass and disc disclaimer, but describes a very simple routine like the one found in Bobo's Modern Coin Magic (attributed to Rolland Hamblen - p. 349) - "...the passing of a borrowed and marked quarter into a small locked box produced from your pocket." Holden's price in January of 1950 was $3.75, while in September of 1949 the Linking Ring Redmon ad gives the price as $2.75.

It is possible the two Lippincotts knew of each other and may have both contributed to the creation of the box and/or the routine with the glass that is described.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 07/14/11 06:27 AM

Other then the Maven and Whaley references, have you seen any other mention of Jack in association with the box?
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Postby Spellbinder » 07/14/11 09:23 AM

Like the reference to Jack that Magicpedia used to have a few days ago, the other references to Jack have come from sources who probably got them from Whaley, Maven or Magicpedia, as I did. What is needed is a study of the Linking Ring articles that Jack contributed and inquiries to the IBM Ring member records of both Lippincotts. Some one might have the original instructions for either the Holden box or the Redmon box that might shed some insight on the problem.

I'm comfortable with the idea that, from what I've seen of the box, it is simply a variation of "The Watch Box" described by Professor Hoffmann in "Modern Magic" (p.148) and it was so old even in 1876 that no one knew who came up with the trick. Someone with the last name of Lippincott shrank the box, and, according to the Redmon ad, Mel Lippincott came up with the routine of putting a glass on top of the box to vanish the quarter. That seems to be all we know for certain.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 07/14/11 02:56 PM

Agreed. Been searching and not found anything else yet.
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