Looking for interesting early magic books

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Joe Mckay
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Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Joe Mckay » February 24th, 2016, 4:50 pm

I am digging through a bunch of old books and was curious how others have tackled this?

I am focusing on books from the 1920s to the 1940s. The great authors that jump out for me are Tom Sellers, Charles Waller and Stanley Collins. Charles Jordan is great as well but his work is already well known.

I just want to start a thread to discuss some of these more obscure books. As such - I will keep this post short and come back to it later on.

It would be interesting to hear what others have made from some of the books from this era. It is amazing how many authors there were back then who are no longer known to most magicians.

Bob Farmer
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Bob Farmer » February 24th, 2016, 5:46 pm

Joe:

Here's a great little book:

Westminster Wizardry by Frederick Montague, M.P., published by Will Goldston. No year in the book, but it looks like 1920s/30s. Has some great card stuff, especially a torn corner idea. I got it fro a few bucks from a used book dealer:

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/t ... -wizardry/

Bill Mullins
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Bill Mullins » February 24th, 2016, 6:02 pm

Victor Farelli's books.
Jack MacMillan's.

Magic with Small Apparatus by Dhotel.
Magic without Apparatus by Gaultier.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Joe Mckay » February 24th, 2016, 6:44 pm

I am using Ask Alexander to look up a few different books.

Bob: I looked up that torn corner idea. It strikes me as being similar to an idea that Peter Duffie has in Subtle Miracles. But I am pretty tired - so I may be wrong on that one.

I always felt that was his best book. It is a collection of offbeat ideas that often make use of unusual gaffs. There is some very strong magic in that book. It is very different to the more standard approach to card magic you find in his other books.

So - if you get a chance - check out Dichotomy on page 60.

Also - speaking of novel card books from the early 20th century - David Britland has always being a big fan of Card Mysteries by Roy Walker:

http://cardopolis.blogspot.co.uk/2002/07/roy-walkers-card-mysteries-when-i.html

That said - when I am researching magic these days - I am focusing on close up magic which does not use cards.

At the moment - I am reading through all the Tom Sellers books on Ask Alexander. And the copies they have are taken from Sid Lorraine's library. It is fun seeing his little comments scribbled into the margins.

Bill Mullins: Thanks for the tips. Those are books I have never gotten round to reading before. My heroes in magic are people like Lubor Fiedler, Gaetan Bloom, Angelo Carbone, Shigeru Sugawara, Paul Harris and David Harkey. As such - when I look through old books - I am focusing more on offbeat and novel ideas. As opposed to the more standard effects that rely on sleight of hand.

That is why the Charles Jordan and Bob Hummer booklets from back then provide so much joy. Since they were working at a level of creativity that seems fresh and offbeat even today.

Anyway - hopefully I will find some of that in the works you mentioned. It is always difficult asking for recommendations since we are often not clear about what it is we are hoping to find. For instance - I can appreciate Dai Vernon's contributions to magic but it is not the style of creation that actually interests me. It just lacks the type of novelty and ingenuity I find in the work of others that I admire.

Thanks to both of you for your suggestions.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Joe Mckay » February 24th, 2016, 6:56 pm

Found this interesting credit tidbit on The Magic Cafe.

The vol 1 of Magic with Small Apparatus was the first step of a huge work and no additional translations of Jules Dhotel were done (to my knowledge). There appeared, amongst other things the Schneider/Dingle pick up move for matrix when both were still in diapers if even born (and Dhotel never claimed it to be his).


http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=320105&forum=115

Gonna research Magic Without Apparatus now!

Brad Henderson
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Brad Henderson » February 24th, 2016, 7:05 pm

for off beat check out the Massey book and Hopkins's 20th Century Magic. The vanishing elephant statue is worth the price of admission.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Joe Mckay » February 24th, 2016, 7:13 pm

About the Massey book? Is that the one Rhett Bryson was compiling? Has that come out yet?

And thanks for the advice, Brad. I love offbeat magic. I am gonna track down both books.

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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby lybrary » February 24th, 2016, 9:22 pm

Joe, one of my favorite publications is the East German magazine Zauberkunst (http://www.lybrary.com/zauberkunst-alle ... 30651.html ), because you will find a lot of items which are pretty unique. East Germany was for a long time pretty much cut off from the West, so they had to create a lot by themselves which almost forces you to come up with new and unique ideas. Lubor Fiedler had a special issue in that magazine, but he is not the only creative guy who contributed to it. For example, you will find tricks using electronics with entire circuit diagrams published - something you won't find anywhere else. It is one of the publications I go to for inspirations.

Biggest problem for many will be that it is in German and thus not so easily accessible. But the Lybrary.com digital shelf does have a translation feature built in which might be sufficient to get the gist of an effect. Anyway, it is one of those treasure chests worth unlocking.
Lybrary.com Magic & Gambling
preserving magic one book at a time

Kent Blackmore
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Kent Blackmore » February 25th, 2016, 7:00 am

The Magic of Louis S. Histed, Goodliffe Publications 1947. Full of amazing offbeat principles, especially with water.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Joe Mckay » February 25th, 2016, 2:50 pm

Brad: Do you know any more about the Edward Massey book?

Chris: Thanks for the tip. I have always been interested in that magazine. I always wonder about the magic buried in foreign magic magazines. And the fact that it was a magazine put out under communism leads me to feel it would be even more off the beaten track than most.

And with Lubor Fiedler as a star contributor - it sounds like the editors had an excellent taste in magic. This is one of those magazines it would be great to see a compilation of highlights for.

Kent: That sounds really interesting. I am gonna' order the book.

I will report back once I have had a chance to read some of the books mentioned in this thread.

Would love to hear other suggestions as well!

Brad Henderson
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Brad Henderson » February 25th, 2016, 3:22 pm

I am referring to the book new and original magic. Very old book.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Joe Mckay » February 25th, 2016, 3:50 pm

Found a copy. Thanks again for the advice, Brad!

This is so cool.

Tons of reading to do.

Will check back in here when I am through most of it.

Also - a fun thing about the Tom Sellers books is each page is quite small - and he crams about two tricks onto each page. So - there is no padding. He is just trying to pass along as many ideas as possible.

Edwin Corrie
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Edwin Corrie » February 26th, 2016, 7:40 pm

Good topic. Sorry to be coming to it a bit late.

If you're like me you'll want original copies, but here are a couple of those already mentioned:

Magic without Apparatus
https://books.google.fr/books?id=nO59CgAAQBAJ&pg=PP2&lpg=PP2&dq=magic+without+apparatus+by+camille+gaultier&source=bl&ots=qsD1oJd_Pg&sig=odYxyYFKH1H9Y1xK-bK7KDmh_YU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjrl8msxpbLAhUKCBoKHWF-DjYQ6AEIVDAN#v=onepage&q&f=false

It's pure sleight of hand (lots of cards, but not only) but has an excellent introduction which describes the contents of some of the very early French magic books (Ozanam, Guyot, Decremps, Ponsin, Robert-Houdin) so you can get a good idea of what they were doing 200 years ago. Very surprising.

Here's the original in French:
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5685679n/f5.image

Magic with Small Apparatus is worth a look (http://magicref.tripod.com/books/dhotelmagicwithsmallapparatus.htm). It's all non-cards. Unfortunately it was the only volume ever translated. There were eight altogether in the original French, which is very hard to come by now.

New and Original Magic
https://archive.org/details/cu31924083024855
I particularly liked the Diminishing Card.

Tom Sellers
http://www.peterduffie.co.uk/tom0.htm

Demon Magic
http://digital.slv.vic.gov.au/view/action/singleViewer.do?dvs=1456532506425~138&locale=fr_FR&metadata_object_ratio=10&show_metadata=true&VIEWER_URL=/view/action/singleViewer.do?&preferred_usage_type=VIEW_MAIN&DELIVERY_RULE_ID=10&frameId=1&usePid1=true&usePid2=true
This is early Robert Harbin. His "Something New in Magic" from 1929 (he wrote it as Ned Williams) is also interesting if you can find it.

Bruce Elliott's books have some great and very doable general magic in them. See http://magicref.tripod.com/books.htm for the titles.

As for more recent material, I enjoyed the thinking in the big Bob Ostin and David Harkey books and of course "Japan Ingenious" and "5x5 Japan".

Bill Mullins
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Bill Mullins » February 26th, 2016, 8:41 pm

In the first volume of Card College, Giobbi says "In the first half of the twentieth century many important contributions were made by performers and authors such as Rossetti, Ciuro, Annemann, Braue, Hugard, Hilliard, Hoffmann, Roterberg, Fischer, Horster and Gaultier. More recently the literature has been furthered by Mario, Ganson, Lorayne, Garcia, Goldstein, Minch, Kaufman, Vollmer, Tamariz and Ascanio, to name just a few."

Fleming published a number of good magic books in the 1940s. Gaultier and d'Hotel have already been mentioned, but he also did an edition of Erdnase, "The Fine Art of Magic" by Kaplan, bound volumes of Hugard's Magic Monthly, "Our Magic" by Maskelyne and Devant, "Conjuring Melange" by Stanley Collins, and "Sleight of Hand" by Edwin Sachs. All are worth having.

observer
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby observer » February 26th, 2016, 9:43 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Fleming .


Might be worthwhile just reading through his book reviews in fact, see what catches your eye. Collected in three volumes, 1944 1946 1978.

(thanx to magicpedia for the dates)

Joe Mckay
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Joe Mckay » February 27th, 2016, 12:08 pm

Just want to drop in and thank you for the responses.

Soon - I will drop back and talk some more about the books I have been studying.

Thanks everyone!

Brad Henderson
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Brad Henderson » February 27th, 2016, 12:32 pm

busby's epoptica had some great reviews. good source for finding books many have forgotten

Joe Mckay
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Joe Mckay » February 27th, 2016, 2:15 pm

A creator I discovered recently was Ronald J. Dayton.

He published magic mainly in the 80's. So he is quite modern compared to most on this list.

But he has some great ideas. It is odd I have not heard about him until now. He used to have a column in MUM magazine and has a bunch of books out as well. He also used to have a joint column with Steve Dusheck. So he is highly thought of by at least one legend in magic.

He also publishes Bizarre magick under the name 'Kotah'.

Brad Henderson
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Brad Henderson » February 27th, 2016, 9:45 pm

didn't earlier in a previous post you claim to have read Everything?

seems you may have missed a lot.

Joe Mckay
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Joe Mckay » February 27th, 2016, 10:31 pm

hahaha...

Now - an interesting tidbit about Ronald Dayton. Apparently he has an interest in designing perpetual motion machines.

Of course this is scientifically impossible but many creative people have been attracted to this impossible challenge. Often the fun comes from designing a machine that seems plausible due to some flaw which is hidden in an ingenious manner.

I remember reading about a clever one that Richard Feynman popularized.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownian_ratchet

So this is not necessarily just a hobby for scientific cranks. It can help with the understanding of the second law of thermodynamics. Indeed the quest for perpetual motion helped clarify the early ideas that lead to the development of thermodynamics.

http://www.amazon.com/Perpetual-Motion-Obsession-Arthur-Ord-Hume/dp/0760709262/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456630757&sr=8-1&keywords=perpetual+motion+history

And happily the challenges in this area is very similar to those involved with coming up with a clever new magic trick.

I checked out the vanishing elephant. Interesting to read about this effect at last since I have heard about it in the past. It is like something Lubor Fiedler might come up with. But it is not something I would ever be able to make use of.

And thanks to Kent for mentioning the Louis Histed book. That is a great recommendation. It is so interesting to see a whole chapter of new magic principles. In this case - based around the use of liquids. This is magic creativity of the highest order.

I just wish (for lazy magicians like me) some of it was applicable to close-up magic and easier to build. I also love the "pseudo" perpetual motion type water device (apparently an old Indian effect) that is described earlier in the book as well.

Kent? If you are interested in making use of this sort of thinking in your magic - you should know that Dan Harlan has a brilliant Coke transposition in one of his Penguin Live magic lectures (I believe it was the second one). The thinking behind the trick is wonderful and it is a trick that is easy for any magician to put together. And it makes use of some of the same concepts that Louis Histed touches on. But on a much more basic level.

As for the Tom Sellers books. They were good fun. A lot of creative close-up magic that does not use cards. At a time when most magic seemed to be parlour magic or card tricks.

My impression from reading Sid Lorraine's notes in the margins of these books was that he was sceptical of a lot of his material. But at the the same time - he seemed to appreciate the creative bent behind his work.

I should thank Peter Duffie for first drawing my attention to the work of Tom Sellers on his site. And also to Karl Fulves who reprinted (and praised) a Tom Sellers trick in 'The Pallbearer's Review'. Without these two pointers - I would never have thought to investigate his work.

I hope to keep this thread going in the future with any other obscure books that catch my attention as well.

Thanks for all the input so far guys!

Joe Mckay
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Re: Looking for interesting early magic books

Postby Joe Mckay » February 28th, 2016, 1:25 pm

Just read this ebook by Duraty (a French magician). It collects a bunch of non-card magic he has published over the years. There is a foreword by Gaetan Bloom as well.

It is a strong collection of material. Glad I read it.

http://www.lybrary.com/irresistible-closeup-magic-p-668404.html


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