Great magic shops - Past and present

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
Kent Gunn
Posts: 715
Joined: May 15th, 2008, 2:05 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Great magic shops - Past and present

Postby Kent Gunn » March 29th, 2019, 11:53 am

I'll be waiting to hear a Scottish accent. It'll bring back memories of Holy Loch, Tennet's lager and fish/chips in newspaper.

User avatar
Posts: 1288
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Great magic shops - Past and present

Postby AJM » March 29th, 2019, 4:09 pm

Corner-person Begrudger

Bob Farmer
Posts: 2755
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Short card above selection.

Re: Great magic shops - Past and present

Postby Bob Farmer » March 29th, 2019, 4:18 pm

Leo: Yes, this was during the Pat Page Davenports era. The first time I walked in, he showed me Roy Walton's, "Cascade," and I bought one immediately. Having been out of magic for many years, I had no knowledge of the Elmsley Count and Roy Walton but quickly decided I needed to catch up fast. One day, Pat showed me a simply amazing effect: he had me hold a round, clear piece of plexiglass. He placed a red ball on it and covered it with a clear glass. He picked up the glass and blew smoke into it then covered the ball and gave it a shake and the ball completely vanished. It was astounding.

Another time, Bobby Bernard was there and showed me a coin vanish. I remember thinking--if he opens his hand and that #$%^%$ coin isn't there, I may run home screaming like a chicken.

Okay, he opened his hand and it wasn't there. Then he taught me how to do it. It's called the Himber Coin Vanish and I do it differently than Bobby did, but it still gets a great reaction. Bobby could also do it with 4 coins at the same time.

I've watched some truly awful performances of the Himber Coin Vanish on Youtube and the performers all do it completely wrong. The performances and the explanations are truly awful. They all make the same mistake: the right hand does not move away to the right fast enough and the right hand "chokes" as the coin is released. To do it right, it has to look as if the coin is thrown into the left hand and lands there: if the right hand hesitates before it moves away it looks like the right hand has grabbed the coin (which, of course, it has).

During that year, I spent a lot of time in Davenport's and in Ken Brooke's place in Soho. I saw and learned a lot. Being a poor grad student, I wasn't the best customer, but nobody seemed to mind.

User avatar
Posts: 15
Joined: July 20th, 2018, 3:28 pm

Re: Great magic shops - Past and present

Postby Peirceman » March 30th, 2019, 7:16 pm

There used to be a magic store is Montrose Ca. I spent many a day in there buying what my meager allowance could afford. After buying my fifth or sixth trick deck or packet trick, the owner, who we called "the face" because his actual face looked like a rubber mask, said "look kid, you seem like this is a little more than a hobby, stop buying this junk and start buying books". I was shocked. He handed me Expert Card Technique, which at the time was a Dover Publication and was $4.95. I told him I had $5, but I couldn't cover the tax. He said, "I'll tell you what, I'll give this to you, but if you ever make any money doing magic, you have to pay double, or come back when you can cover the whole tab". Obviously, I took the book.

I hung out at the shop every weekend showing The Face and my new friend Terry who worked there the stuff I had learned or of that book. The Face hated card tricks and the way cardmen constantly fiddled with cards. He would getting and say, "That's nice, now stop fidgeting with those f'ing cards". Terry would just tell me to ignore him and to show him something else. He was one of those people who cursed at the people he liked and ignored those he didn't. As I made money at odd jobs and eventually being employed, I offered to pay for the book, but he refused, saying he only wanted the book paid with magic money. I bought many other books from him before he closed, but never paid for that first one.

The shop closed before I ever got a paying gig, but if The Face is alive, I got a ten spot for you, and yes, it's magic money.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

Posts: 1303
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Great magic shops - Past and present

Postby Terry » April 1st, 2019, 6:13 pm

Bob Hutching's Magic Shack, Griflet Rd, Jacksonville, FL was my very first magic shop (1976) and where I spent many Saturdays (1981-early 90's).

Bob was an ex-New Yorker who was fun to hang around. I also got to help him build his nightclub tables and one of the best guillotines I've owned.

Due to congestive heart failure, we lost Bob in the early 90's and the shop closed.

Posts: 403
Joined: February 26th, 2012, 9:22 pm

Re: Great magic shops - Past and present

Postby brianarudolph » April 3rd, 2019, 8:53 pm

Growing up in Northern Ohio in the 70's I would make regular trips to a magic shop in downtown Cleveland. I unfortunately cannot remember its name (or names; I vaguely recall it changing hands at least once.) It was on the second floor of a downtown building complex. You had to walk through the doorway and up the narrow staircase to get to it. Three things I remember fondly of it in my youth of 14 to 17 years of age: 1) the hilarious off-color insult wars my magic friends and I would get into with some of the staff (100% totally in ROTFLOAO fun), 2) finding a hardcover copy of Harry Lorayne's book Rim Shots after I had first become acquainted with Mr. Lorayne's work, and 3) attending a lecture by this young hot shot named Paul Gertner who did this crazy impossible routine with steel cups and steel balls that blew everyone away - just as he was breaking onto the magic scene.

I also would make journeys to Ted Carrother's Magic Shop in Toledo. Ted was my first sponsor when I joined the IBM. I always enjoyed exploring the nooks and crannies of Ted's shop as there were some really cool treasures to be found.

I would even make the occasional four-hour trip to Abbott's at non-Get Together times. And, of course, for the Get-Togethers - back in the days when conventioneering magicians had to be real men and women because the Colon Elementary School and the Colon High School were not air conditioned AND when the Foxy Follies still closed every Saturday evening show.

Tom Gilbert
Posts: 843
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: NH

Re: Great magic shops - Past and present

Postby Tom Gilbert » May 4th, 2019, 9:20 pm

Hank Lee's in the early days was my go to. Some guy named Max always recommended the best books. Time spent at Steve Dacri's Imperial Products in Worcester, MA, too.

Return to “Magic History and Anecdotes”