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Magical apparatus and paraphernalia.

June 4, 2016

Magical apparatusFrom 1963:  Magical Apparatus

As Professor Hoffmann said, “. . . one should use the magic wand for all tricks, even if its use is unnecessary for the completion of the miracle.”

I just bought a copy of Modern Magic Illustrated by the professor because of my nostalgia for one of the pleasanter times in my high school years when I became an amateur magician.  He advocated the use of a magic wand, hard to see in the above illustration.  I took the photo in my room in Dillon, Montana, with my grandmother’s Argus C-3 35mm camera.

As you can see on the wall, I attended every circus and hypnotist show that came to town.  I also had a large collection of magic books, many stolen from the Dillon Public library.  I figured the secrets would die with me, rather than be available to anyone with a library card.

The Montana Collection at the Billings Public Library has a large collection of really fine magic books, by the way.

I made all of the apparatus in the photograph except for the rings, cards, and scarves.  As follows:

  • Five painted plywood boxes that nest together.  I had a method for sliding a coin or other object into the smallest box.  Then I made a big deal out of opening one box after the other, the way one would open up Russian dolls.
  • Deck of playing cards sewn together for amazing flourishes.  I had lots of trick decks of cards.  I actually got good at card tricks.
  • Box with die for the “disappearing die” trick.  One of the first I made.
  • Linking ring trick hanging from magic wand.  I bought the rings in Seattle.
  • Magic table with black velvet well for vanishing objects.
  • Crepe paper flowers for production tricks.
  • Question mark wooden tube is used with slightly smaller wooden tube at right to produce a rabbit or chicken.  The rabbit or chicken had to hang from a hook so that it could be transferred invisibly from one tube to the other while showing each one to be empty.
  • Second magic table with large production box that has hinged lid top and front.  A mirror inside hides the rabbit or chicken to be vanished or produced.
  • The tube on top was made from a tin can with a funnel-shaped liner.  Many silk scarves could be jammed into the space between the can and the liner.  Made for an astounding production.  The funnel-shaped liner met the edge of the tube so that the tube had the illusion of being empty when one end was shown to the audience.

Of course the problem was always finding an audience to astound.  The best audience was my sister’s children.  She had six in all.  The oldest, especially, didn’t seem to tire of tricks I performed repeatedly.




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