Written for the amateur magician, this illustrated guide offers 50 easy, effective, and well-known tricks that are used by professionals: cards, handkerchiefs, mental magic, and more. The author includes an overview for each trick, shows how the act appears to the audience, and details both the mechanisms and the presentation. 63 illustrations.
This book is for the amateur magician who wants to learn (and start performing) well-known tricks that professionals use. Fifty easy yet effective tricks are presented, offering a well-rounded repertoire on which the beginner can draw while developing further interests and skills.
"To explain how magic is done is one thing," Mr. Gibson says in his introduction, "To tell how to do it quite another." In this volume you will be taken through every stage of each trick an overview, how the trick appears to the audience, the mechanism behind the trick, and finally the presentation details that allow you to perform the trick in a completely professional manner. By carefully following the few simple yet essential tips the tricks will soon be yours.
Emphasis is on tricks that can be performed informally with a small group of friends. There are card tricks of both the setup and impromptu kind, there are tricks with string, handkerchiefs, tumblers, and mental magic where the purpose is "to deceive the mind rather than the eye." A final section on well-known stage illusions shows how the same performance principles are carried to magic on a higher level.
With this book the beginner will be able to perform professional tricks within hours, while even the more advanced magician will find new tricks and new ways of doing old ones. The author draws upon a lifetime in professional magic for his tricks. Not only is Mr. Gibson well known as one of the best writers about magic; he was also long associated with Houdini, the Thurstons, and other great magicians of the past."
The author draws upon a lifetime in professional magic to focus on tricks that can be learned within hours and performed informally with a small group of friends. There are card tricks of both the set-up and impromptu kind, tricks with string, handkerchiefs, tumblers, and other simple apparatus, plus examples of mental magic where the mind is deceived rather than the eye.
Chapter One. CLOSE-UP MAGIC Impromptu tricks that will enable you to amaze your friends while versing yourself in the ways and wiles of legerdemain
THE AUTOMATIC KNOT
A simple snap of a handkerchief and a genuine knot appears instantly!
THE MAGNETIC MARK
"Inscribed on the back of the hand, then rubbed away, this mark is found upon the magician's palm."
THE TWISTY CORKS
"Gripped between thumbs and fingers, two corks are twisted through each other under the very eyes of all observers."
THE DOUBLED STRING
"Turning two strings into one is easy, but only for those who know how?as other learn when they try and fail."
"Needed for a trick, this match obligingly lifts itself from the box in magical fashion."
THE RISING CIGARETTE
"Mysteriously, a cigarette rises from a pack at the magician's command. Done anywhere, any time, with any pack of cigarettes."
THE CHAMELEON MATCH
"Paper matches come with heads of different colors, as this one proves when its head changes from red to blue. "
"A candy mint, threaded on a string, is magically removed from the cord while spectators hold the ends."
LOOP THE LOOP
A series of baffling maneuvers that visibly cause a ring to drop from a double loop of string.
"Chapter Two. SIMPLIFIED CARD TRICKS No skill is required for the card tricks that comprise this section. Self-working, therefore easily learned, they are none the less baffling because of the subtle, unsuspected principles on which they depend."
"The performer and a spectator each select a card. Replaced in the pack, those cards mysteriously turn face upward."
THE WANDERING COLORS
"Separating the red cards from the black, the magician transposes two cards and all the rest change colors."
THE NAMES TELL
A phenomenal mystery wherein the spectators themselves discover a chosen card through a magical coincidence.
"Gathering pairs of red and black cards from a shuffled pack, a spectator is amazed to discover that the magician knows the result beforehand."
"Take a card, mix the pack faces up and faces down, all come back to normal except the chosen card, which reveals itself face up."
THE MAGIC DEAL
"Wherein a spectator keeps guessing where his card has gone, only to have the magician produce it automatically!"
"Chapter Three. CARD-TABLE MAGIC Specially designed for card table presentation, the tricks in this section are all impromptu effects that can be performed with borrowed packs and exhibited on call."
THE EVEN HEAP
A neat perplexity with a clever twist that makes it a constant baffler.
THE CARD THAT FINDS ITSELF
Discovering a chosen card which a person has picked and shuffled into the pack before the magician even touches it.
THE HONEST GAMBLER
In which the magician proves he can deal himself four kings?or better!?every time he tries.
THE TRIPLE CLIMAX
"A series of surprises beginning with the revelation of a chosen card, only to produce a threeway climax and a sequel."
JUST ONE CHANCE
"That's all the magician has, just one chance to discover a selected card?and it is all he needs."
"Chapter Four. AFTER-DINNER MAGIC A group of tricks with ordinary objects, particularly those found at the dinner table, or which can be logically introduced there."
COUNT THE SUGAR
A puzzling stunt that works for the performer but perplexes anyone who tries it.
THREE TRICKY TUMBLERS
Twisty maneuvers with a trio of tumblers that become trickier and trickier as people attempt to duplicate the stunt.
FIND THE BLUE
"Nifty necromancy with paper napkins?two with a red design, one with blue. Roll them up and find the blue?if you ever can!"
THROUGH THE TABLE
"The riddle of the glass that penetrates a solid table, leaving both undamaged."
THE MATCH TWISTER
"Here's where the spectators try to fool the magician, but find they never can."
STRING A RING
"A borrowed finger ring arrives magically upon the center of a string, with no clue to the mystery."
THE DISSOLVING COIN
"Dropped in a glass of water and actually shown there, a coin dissolved itself without a trace."
"DIME, WOOL, AND MATCH BOX"
A simplified version of one of magic's most astounding close-range mysteries.
"Chapter Five. PARTY MAGIC You can become the life of any party with the tricks described in this section. There are enough of them to give a complete show before a regular audience, yet all the tricks are easy to prepare and simple to perform."
"Two paper slips bearing messages in red and blue respectively, magically transpose themselves from one glass tube to another."
Gravity is defied by the mysterious bottle which refuses to pour until the magician commands it.
THE BAFFLED FARMER
Seven paper balls and two hats form the equipment for this surprising demonstration of what happened to two thieves and five stolen sheep.
SAWING THROUGH A ROPE
An impossibility with a knotted handkerchief that cuts itself clear of a rope without injuring it.
THE WEIRD TUBE
"A simple tube of paper, shown clear through, captures a quota of water and provides a glass to hold it."
THE TRIPLE KNOTS
"Three knots, tied on a string, dissolve themselves and are found upon another cord."
"The amazing riddle of the knot that is plucked from a rope and thrown back on it, not just once, but twice."
THE TRI-CUT ROPE
"An ordinary rope, cut in three pieces, restores itself to its original condition."
THE PENETRATING KNOT
The incredible becomes a reality when a knot jumps from one handkerchief to another through a solid tray.
Chapter Six. MENTAL MAGIC Always intriguing are those tricks that resemble feats of telepathy or clairvoyance. Here are methods of performing such mental mysteries in easy style with baffling results.
IT'S A DATE
A surprising divination involving various dates selected from any month of the calendar.
THE TELLTALE CARD
"On a playing card, the wizard writes the name of another card that a person is sure to select no matter what card he takes from the pack!"
LUCKY NUMBER SEVEN
You just can't be anything but lucky with this baffling stunt that works itself.
A STATE OF MIND
"Any state of the union is mentally chosen by a spectator, only to have the magician discover it by mere concentration."
"Random spot cards are taken from a pack; their suits are named, but not their values. Yet the magician gives the total of all the spots on those cards."
"A number is chosen between one and twenty-five. Opening a sealed telegram, spectators concentrate on the word found at that number. The magician instantly names the mental word."
"Wherein the mental wizard demonstrates an unfailing ability at discovering a hidden color, no matter how often the test is repeated."
Chapter Seven. FAMOUS STAGE ILLUSIONS
SAWING A WOMAN IN HALF
"The most famous stage illusion ever produced, that of dividing a girl in two parts without injuring her."
VANISHING A GIRL AND PIANO
"A double mystery of the young lady who disappears while playing a piano, which also dissolves into the same thin air."
THE INVISIBLE FLIGHT
"Fired from a giant cannon, a girl arrives within a nest of three boxes that are hanging from the dome of the theater."
THE BANGKOK BUNGALOW
"An astonishing illusion with a more astonishing explanation, representing the height of magical ingenuity."
WALKING THROUGH A BRICK WALL
"A celebrated and sensational mystery, featured by Houdini as the star attraction at the New York Hippodrome."
THE VANISHING AUTOMOBILE
The largest and most rapid disappearance even performed upon any stage.