Friday, July 9, 2010

The Mysto Box


I wanted to show you the most visually interesting box in the collection. The other two boxes that house the hundreds of clippings are cigar boxes from Chicago, but this one actually has something to do with magic!

According to Magicpedia, the Mysto company, founded by A. C. Gilbert and John Petrie, produced these sets. has an interesting article on Gilbert, where I learned:
But Gilbert was also a brilliant student, and soon went on to Yale Medical School. He helped pay his tuition by performing as a magician, and founded a company, Mysto Manufacturing, which sold magic kits for kids. In 1908, he took time out to compete in the IV. Olympiad in London, England, and came home with the gold medal in the pole vault --- thanks in part to a new, spike-less bamboo pole that he was the first Olympian to use.
This man was busy! He also went on to create the Erector sets- the first advertised toy and one of the most popular toys of all time. You can read about the Erector sets via Girders and Gears.

There are hundreds of examples of Mysto sets online. You can view a few (including the one I have) in the online collection of the Eli Whitney museum.

LiveAuctioneers has a ton to look at, and I was even able to find someone selling a complete set with my box lid!I recognize a few of the card trick packets from my collection, but I do not see the rest- especially the little balls & cups.

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