Was this challenge ever accepted?

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

Postby erdnasephile » 01/29/13 11:20 AM

I was leafing through an old The Conjurer's Magazine and came across this ad:

Image

I briefly looked up John J. McManus. He was quite a collector who left his enormous collection to the Library of Congress. According to the NY Times, he was also the American rep for Rolls Royce and an owner of the Hudson River Navigation Company. Therefore, I suspect that the 10 grand challenge was quite legit. (That's the equivalent of over $93,000 in 2011 US dollars)

Does anyone know if John Mulholland took up the challenge?
User avatar
erdnasephile
 
Posts: 1979
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM

Postby erdnasephile » 01/29/13 11:28 AM

Ha! I should have remembered: everything is in Genii!

The answer to my own question is in the April 2008 issue.
User avatar
erdnasephile
 
Posts: 1979
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM

Postby Oddly Bent » 01/29/13 04:53 PM

Not everyone here has access to the April 2008 issue of Genii. Are you going to give us the answer?
Oddly Bent
 
Posts: 136
Joined: 02/10/12 02:24 PM
Location: Hudspeth County, Texas

Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/29/13 05:25 PM

I'm pretty sure this never took place. The apparatus was never performed outside of Hooker's home in Brooklyn until done at the Los Angeles Conference on Magic History.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20431
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby erdnasephile » 01/29/13 06:17 PM

Oddly Bent wrote:Not everyone here has access to the April 2008 issue of Genii. Are you going to give us the answer?


Ooops, sorry. Here's the relevant info from that issue:

"By 1949, just 15 years after the last performances, the
New York magic collector, John J. McManus, ran ads in
magic journals, making a $10,000 public challenge (over
$80,000 in todays money) to John Mulholland to present
the trick, as he had read about it in texts like Greater
Magic. 'Failure to accept challenge and to attempt to perform,
it will be assumed the trick so vividly described and
believed in for years cannot be done and is an exaggerated
myth.' McManus was a wealthy magic collector who must
have intended the challenge as a tweak to his rival collector,
Mulholland. Then, too, McManus had confused Dr.
Hooker's effect with his own Hofzinser Rising Card chest,
which he considered a superior trick. McManus's challenge
seemed overly sensational and pugnacious,
and Mulholland ignored him."


from Genii, April 2008, pg 71
User avatar
erdnasephile
 
Posts: 1979
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM

Postby Ted M » 01/29/13 06:46 PM

Oddly Bent wrote:Not everyone here has access to the April 2008 issue of Genii. Are you going to give us the answer?

Wow. This forum is provided by Genii, which provides free online access to the complete Genii archive to those who support the magazine by subscribing.

You could consider subscribing, or at least consider sounding sheepish rather than demanding when asking for Genii-published content here.
Ted M
 
Posts: 553
Joined: 01/24/08 01:00 PM
Location: Madison, WI

Postby Oddly Bent » 01/30/13 10:54 AM

Ted M wrote:
Oddly Bent wrote:Not everyone here has access to the April 2008 issue of Genii. Are you going to give us the answer?

Wow. This forum is provided by Genii, which provides free online access to the complete Genii archive to those who support the magazine by subscribing.

You could consider subscribing, or at least consider sounding sheepish rather than demanding when asking for Genii-published content here.


I am a subscriber and I do use Ask Alexander. I am also a member of Conjuring Arts Org. However, I know people here that do not subscribe to Genii. It was not a demand, it was a request for those that are not subscribers.
Oddly Bent
 
Posts: 136
Joined: 02/10/12 02:24 PM
Location: Hudspeth County, Texas

Postby Andrew Pinard » 01/30/13 11:06 AM

Talk about synchronicity... I was leafing through one of the magaziens that were my Christmas gift from Mike Henkel (http://www.mhmagicmagazines.com/) and this ad called out to me. I was going to post a similar request but hadn't gotten around to it...

It brought to mind the description of a rusting pile of metal described as the final resting place of Kellar and Thurston's levitation. I didn't get to see the recreation in LA, but before it was produced I read the description of Hooker's act in Pallbearer's and thought of some poor widow pulling out a ball of tangled thread and tossing it not realizing what a miracle it once was...

Thanks!
User avatar
Andrew Pinard
 
Posts: 293
Joined: 03/13/08 11:13 AM


Return to Magic History and Anecdotes