Friday, August 13, 2010

The Yogi Wonder Card Trick

Happy Friday the 13th!

This was the smallest, most folded set of instructions I have come across. The scan makes it readable, but in reality the print is so small it is nearly microscopic!

I'm going to have to go through my sets of random cards and see if I can find that 6/7 of spades!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another Letter From Thayer

There are a lot of interesting things going on in this Thayer letter. The first paragraph alone is advertising gold:
Read the rest of this letter. It should not take you more than two minutes and if it will only save you one dollar, that will make your time worth while.
I've always wondered what my time was worth. Thanks, Thayer Manufacturing!

We also have the offhand reference to a printer's strike. I can't find any specific mention of a printer's strike going on in the US in 1921, with the exception of this small paragraph from Workday Minnesota:
The weekly newspaper of the Catholic archdiocese had been produced at a scab shop since the start of a printers’ strike in 1921. The printers had learned from Archbishop Dowling that he would prefer it be produced by union labor -- if they could find a suitable place to handle the job.
The second page has this cut panel taped over the top of the letter, reestablishing the time frame the receipt has to answer the ad, and I love the closing line:
Act now and you will make some real money- otherwise the other fellow wins.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Throw Your Voice!

This is a fun little add- fool police AND your friends! I wonder if my Grandfather clipped it out as a child to maybe save up for it one day. I didn't find anything online that would tell me what the Claxophone was, but if you want to read about the klaxophone, you can via wikipedia.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thurston's Card-Raising Trick


Once in a while I read message boards & such where they are debating about giving up magic trick secrets, and how it was always very hush hush. Apparently no one told that to this journalist (probably from the 1920's), who decided to disclose the secret behind one of Thurston's tricks. I wonder if Thurston minded.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Second-Hand Apparatus


Here is a pale little flier from Ovette. It appears to have been taped to something else, but I did not find a second page of similar size anywhere near it.

I looked up a few of the apparatus items with little luck, except for the first two, which kind of opened an interesting can-of-magic-worms on a magician I have not yet touched on: Harry Kellar. Kellar is one of those magicians I have made a mental connection with to the occult- probably in large because of his posters. That classic Faustian imagery is why I love vintage magic posters, and hope to one day collect a few of my own.

Something that was also of complete interest to me was learning about Kellar, Houdini, Thurston, and others being Masons. As my Grandfather was a Mason, I have high regard for the order. You can read more about this "Magical Brotherhood" via this article.

I was also interested in "Germain's Original Rose Bush Production," and was able to find this write up on it (and rose tricks in general) via

A real improvement on the trick was devised by that graceful and brilliant performer, Mr. Karl Germain, whose retirement from the stage is regretted by all who have had the pleasure of witnessing his performance.

In his version, a single uncovered flower pot stood on a table. Standing near it Germain began to fan the pot, when gradually there appeared to spring from it a few leaves. These were followed by buds, and then the plant increased in height until it was fifteen to eighteen inches above the top of the pot. That the flowers on it were real there could be no doubt, for the performer cut them off and distributed them to the ladies in the audience.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Sunday Morning Trick


While you're sitting at the table eating breakfast (or maybe dinner, depending on your time zone) challenge your table mate to this little trick. This clip made me smile- everyone had that one teacher of substitute who knew all of the brain-teasers and would challenge the class all day long and no one would ever get them. I would have loved to have taken this one into class!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Two Friday Updates

First of all, I forgot to scan the other side of the Coulon article. It is just a few paragraphs to tie up the story (upper left), but I also enjoyed the illustration on this side so I thought I would share:Also, a big thank you to Joseph from The Conjuring Arts Research Center who was able to shed a little light on the mostly unknown life of Louis F. Christianer! You can read the updated entry here, via MagicPedia- and there is even a picture of the man! The entry says he died young, which may explain why his name make a more substantial mark in the magic community.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stunts of the Coulon Order Excite Wonder and Speculation


This is a great addition to my growing Coulon collection. If you've never heard of Johnny Coulon, try reading my previous posts on the subject here and here!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thayer Ordering Form...Just Pin A One Dollar Bill!


I think all shopping should revert immediately to the method described on this form: "Just check what you want and pin a one dollar bill to this letter." I wonder if would go for this idea.

I had never heard of any of the authors listed on this form. The name I decided to search for was Louis F. Christianer. While Louis was a prolific author of tricks, and seemed well regarded among his peers- in the 1920 book The Magic Art, author Donald Holmes said Christianer's, "fertile brain has contributed many good things to magic." Yet for all of the wonderful things people say, and how inspiring and lasting his impact in magic seemed to be, no one mentions anything about the actual man or his past. Did he go by a different name maybe?

Anyhow, if you would like to see a copy of his New Magical Conceptions, you can view it while it is still on sale via ebay.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another Letter From Alexander

Your eyes are not playing tricks on you- this really looks like it was typed on a typewriter with a rounded surface. This is a fun letter from Alexander- he is selling our previously researched Luminous Ouija Board! And from what I can tell with a basic magnifying glass, that is a real ink signature!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Thayer's New Mystical Coin Act (Back Page)


I thought we'd start the beginning of the week by ending last week's scan collection. This wraps up our look into the curious little booklet about a coin act!

I love this illustration on the back....but still no date. You'd think with the trouble they went through publishing this with multiple fonts, decorated page numbers, etc, that they would have thought to include a date. Since I have seen items in the box as "new" as the 1940's, I think I am going to date this around that time. Compared with the items from the 1910-1920's, this paper feels much younger- fresh in a way. I am going to file this last page under mystery item until I get a definitive date.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Thayer's New Mystical Coin Act (Page 6 & 7)

...and we're done with the entire booklet! Tomorrow I have the last page to scan, which is interesting for the artwork & such, but still no date on any of it! Anyone have any guesses?