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Home>Magic Library>Biographies>A Biographies>Abbott, David

Abbott, David

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David Abbott

Inventor and Spirit Hoax Buster

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David Abbott

David Abbott's Book

David Abbott

  • 1836-1934
  • David Phelps Abbott
  • Birthday: September 22
  • Birthplace: United States
  • Buried: ?

Amateur magician and magic inventor who devised such effects as the Floating Ball, the Talking Teakettle and Spirit Paintings. Also wrote Behind the Scenes With the Mediums (1907), considered to be one of the best exposures of the methods used by fraudulent psychics.

His own personal magic performances were private ones, wonderful demonstrations of his magic inventions shown to a select few friends (including well known magicians such as Okito, Houdini and Kellar) in his own home. His home was a true marvel of magic, with hidden microphones, speakers and trap doors, all designed to help him create his mysteries.

Abbott was in the process of writing a much-anticipated book that promised to reveal his magic secrets when he died of diabetes in 1934. When the Abbott home was sold in 1936, the manuscript was thought to be lost. However, years later, all the material was discovered and published in 1977 as David Abbott's Book of Mystery. The book is currently available as House of Mystery: The Magic Science of David P. Abbott, with additional material by Teller.


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