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Home>Magic Library>Magic and Magicians>Who Invented It
 

Who Invented It

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Who Invented That Classic Trick?

You know these magic tricks- now find out more about them!

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No doubt there will always be discussions and arguments about the origin of magic effects and techniques. The truth is that in magic, like most things, "everything old is new again". For centuries, the "newest" magic ideas have usually been just clever improvements and variations of known magic principles. It is therefore nearly impossible in most cases to pin down any one individual who could rightfully claim to have solely "invented" an effect, with no contribution, influence or inspiration from any magician who came before him. Almost all present-day magic tricks are products of numerous contributors. And, of course, each new idea stimulates other magicians to come up with another version and variation. It makes for a lot of lively discussion in the magic community. The leading magic manufacturers are still making their versions of some of these tricks today. Others of these tricks are highly collectible (and rare!) pieces of magical equipment.

The following list was compiled by our own research. This list includes only the classics. It is SUBJECTIVE, for entertainment only, and not meant to cause arguments! Special thanks to Tim Ellis of MagicUnlimited.com for adding a few of the names below.

 
 
Walter Gibson

L L Ireland

Howard Thurston

Anna Eva Fay

 
ACROBATIC MATCHBOX
G.W. Hunter
AGA LEVITATION
Albert Winkler or Prof. Seeman
AIRBORNE GLASS
John Fabjance
ALTAR LIGHT
U.F. Grant
AMBITIOUS CARD
Alberti
ANTI-GRAVICO
Bob Andre
APPEARING CANE
Russ Walsh
APPEARING ELEPHANT
Gustave Fasola
ARABIAN BEADS
John Albenice
ARM CHOPPER
U.F. Grant
ARTIST'S DREAM
David Devant
ASCANIO SPREAD
Dr. Arturo de Ascanio
ASRAH
Servais LeRoy
ASSISTANT'S REVENGE
Robert Harbin
ATTABOY
Jack Hughes
BACK PALM
Ellis Stanyon
BACKSTAGE ILLUSION
Dante
BAKER SLATE
Al Baker
BALDUCCI LEVITATION
Ed Balducci
BALDUCCI WALLET
Ed Balducci
BALL VASE
Jacques Ozanam
BANG GUN
Harold Sterling
BANK NIGHT
Tom Sellers
BENDIX BOMBSHELL
David Bendix
BEWILDERING BLOCKS
Conradi
BIDDLE GRIP
Elmer Biddle
BILL IN LEMON
Emil Jarrow
BILL TUBE, DOUBLE
Walter Gibson
BLACK ART ACT
Max Auzinger
BLACK ART TABLE
J.N. Hofzinser
BLENDO
Frank Ducrot
BLOK-CORD
Lyman Allen
BLUE PHANTOM
Hans Trunk
BOOK TEST
J.N. Hofzinser
BRA TRICK
Howard Brooks
BRAINWAVE DECK
Ralph W. Hull
BRAUE REVERSAL
Fred Braue
BREAKAWAY FAN
Robert Nickle
BUCKLE COUNT
A.J. Cantu
BUNNY BILL
Dr. Robert Neale
BURNING ROPE ESCAPE
Alan Alan
BUZZ SAW ILLUSION
Horace Goldin
CANE CABINET
P.T. Selbit
CANE TO TABLE
Russ Walsh
CANNON ILLUSION
William Ceretta Jeans or Horace Goldin
CARD CASTLE
Louis Nikola or G.W. Hunter
CARD DUCK
L.L. Ireland
CARD FRAME
J.N. Hofzinser
CARD IN BALLOON
Claude Chandler
CARD ON CEILING
John Rannie or Carl Zamloch
CARD SILK
Lewis Davenport
CARD STAR
J.N. Hofzinser
CARD WARP
Roy Walton
CARDS TO ENVELOPE
Paul LePaul
CENTER TEAR
Martin Sunshine
CHAIR SUSPENSION
Jack Hughes
CHAPEAUGRAPHY
Tabarin
CHEEK TO CHEEK DECK
Arthur Findley
CHINATOWN QUARTER
Ken Allen
CHINESE FLAME CLOCK
Edward Massey
CHINESE STICKS
Howard Thurston
CHOP CUP
Al Wheatley (Chop Chop)
CIGARETTE DROPPER
Frank Ducrot
CIGARETTE THRU QUARTER
Pressley Guitar
CLATTER BOX
Jack Hughes
CLICK PASS
T. Nelson Downs
CLIPPO
Joseph Kolar
COIN LADDER
Robert Heller
COIN MATRIX
Al Schneider
COIN SHELL
J.N. Hofzinser
COINS THROUGH THE TABLE
George Sanderson
COLOR CHANGING HANDKERCHIEF
Harlan Tarbell
COLOR CHANGING KNIFE
Walter Cerretta Jeans
COLOR CHANGING RECORDS
James Rainho
COLOR VISION BOX
Martin L. Sunshine
COPENETRO
Bob Kline
COSTUME TRUNK ILLUSION
Fred Culpitt
CRAZY MAN'S HANDCUFFS
Arthur Setterington
CUBIO
Carl Brema
DANCING CANE
J.N. Hofzinser
DANCING HANDKERCHIEF
Anna Eva Fay
DEKOLTA CHAIR
Buatier DeKolta
DIME AND PENNY TRICK
T. Nelson Downs
DISECTO
Lester Lake
DR Q SLATES
Carl Owen
DOLL HOUSE ILLUSION
Fred Culpitt
DOUBLE LIFT
Richard Neve
DOWNS PALM
T. Nelson Downs
DUCK PAN
Servais LeRoy
DYE BOX
Tommy Windsor
EGYPTIAN WATER BOX
R.N. Menge
ELECTRIC DECK
J.N. Hofzinser
ELMSLEY COUNT
Alex Elmsley
EUREKA DECK
Edward O. Drane
EXPANDED SHELL
Conrad Haden
FA-KO DECK
S. W. Reilly
FALSE (SIXTH) FINGER
Charles Morritt
FANNING POWDER
Audley Walsh
FINGER CHOPPER
Edward Massey
FLAGS OF ALL NATIONS
J.N. Hofzinser
FLEXIBLE GLASS
Oswald Rae
FLIPOVER BOX
Jack Gwynne
FLIPPER COIN
Bob Swadling
FLOATING CANE
J.N. Hofzinser
FLOATING LIGHT BULB
Harry Blackstone, Sr.
FLOATING PIANO
Christian Fechner
FLUSHTRATION COUNT
Bro. John Hamman
FLYING CARPET
U.F. Grant
FLYTO
Chevalier Ernest Thorn
FOLDING COIN
Edwin Sachs
FOO CAN
Ching Ling Foo
FORGETFUL FREDDIE
Milbourne Christopher
FRAIDY CAT RABBIT
Bill Paul
GAG-BAG
Van Cleve
GHOST CARD
Burling Hull
GHOST COUNT
Alex Elmsley
GIRL WITHOUT A MIDDLE
P.T. Selbit
GOZINTA BOX
Lubor Fiedler
GLOVES TO DOVE
Brunel White
GUILLOTINE, LESTER LAKE
Lester Lake
HAMMAN COUNT
Bro. John Hamman
HAN PING CHIEN MOVE
Han Pin Chien
HANDKERCHIEF BALL
George Stillwell
HAT TEARS
Cecil Lyle
HEAD TWISTER
Joe Carson
HIMBER RING
Dr. Persi Diaconis
HIMBER WALLET
Richard Himber
HIPPITY HOP RABBITS
The Great Norman
IASIA
Cyril Yettmah
IMPALING
Les Levante
INSURANCE POLICY
George McAthy
JARDINE ELLIS RING
Jardine Ellis
JAZZ ACES
Peter Kane
JORDAN COUNT
Charles T Jordan
JUMPING GEMS
Ken Allen
KEY-R-ECT
Carl Wolf
LEVITATION
John Neville Maskelyne
LIGHT AND HEAVY CHEST
Robert-Houdin
LINKING PINS
Jerry Andrus
LINKING ROPES
E.J. Moore
LION'S BRIDE
The Great Lafayette
LIPPINCOTT BOX
Jack Lippincott
MAGIC WELDING
Louis Nikola
MATCH TO FLOWER
Earl Morgan
MENETEKEL DECK
Burling Hull
MENTAL EPIC
Hen Fetsch
MENTAL PHOTOGRAPHY DECK
Ralph W. Hull
MILK CAN ESCAPE
Harry Houdini with Franz Kukol and James Vickery
MILK PITCHER
Louis Nicola and Roy Enoc
MIRAGE DECK
Ralph W. Hull
MIRROR GLASS
J.N. Hofzinser
MISMADE DOLLAR
P. Howard Lyons
MISMADE FLAG
Carl S. Lohrey
MISMADE GIRL
Chuck Jones
MONEY PADDLE
William H. McCaffrey
MULTIPLYING BILLIARD BALLS
Buatier deKolta
MULTIPLYING CANDLES
Clarence Slyter
MULTIPLYING GOLF BALLS
Henry Gordien
MULTIPLYING RABBITS
Dr. Robert Nelson
MULTIPLYING THIMBLES
August Roterberg
MULTIPLYING WANDS
Bev Bergeron
MULTUM IN PARVO
Benson Dulay
MUSCLE PASS
Arthur Buckley
MUTILATED PARASOL- self contained
Lewis Davenport
NAIL WRITER
Dr. Henry Slade
NEEDLE THRU ARM
Bruce Spangler
NICKELS TO DIMES
Walter Gibson
NOAH'S ARK ILLUSION
Ernest Thorn
OKITO COIN BOX
Theo Bamberg (Okito)
OIL AND WATER
Walter Gibson
OOM
Logan Wait
ORANGE TREE
Robert-Houdin or Pinetti
OUT OF THIS WORLD
Paul Curry
OUT TO LUNCH
Bob Ellis and Clare Cummings (named it); Edward Bagshawe (paper version)
PALENGENESIA
Thomas Tobin
PENETRATION FRAME
Ludwig Krug
PEPPER'S GHOST
Prof. John Henry Pepper
PRINCESS CARD TRICK
Henry Hardin
PROFESSOR'S NIGHTMARE
Bob Carver or Paul Young
PURSE FRAME
Al Baker
RABBIT WRINGER
Audley Walsh
RATTLE BARS
Carl Brema
RAZOR BLADE TRICK
William Buerger
RING CRUNCHER
Roy Roth
RING FLITE
Al Koran
ROD THRU BODY
Edward Massey
ROUGH AND SMOOTH PRINCIPLE
J.N. Hofzinser
RUBBER DOVE
Dr. Carlo
RUN, RABBIT, RUN
Harry Leat
SAND FRAME
Eugene Bosco
SAWING A WOMAN
P.T. Selbit
SAWING A WOMAN IN TWO
Horace Goldin
SECOND SIGHT
Pinetti
SERPENT SILK
John Albenice
SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE
Ted Annemann, adapted from Joseph Kolar
SHADOW BOX
Cyril Yettmah
SI STEBBINS SYSTEM
Si Stebbins
SILK CABBY
Tom Sellers
SILK TO EGG TRICK
Fred Culpitt
SIX CARD REPEAT
Tommy Tucker
SOFT SOAP
Dr. Howard Kayton
SNAPPER
G.W. Hunter
SOO-ZEE APPLICATOR
Ken Allen
SPIDORA
Henry Roltair
SPIKES THRU BALLOON
André Kole
SPIKES THRU COIN
Thomas Fitzgerald
SPIRIT NUT
Carl Brema
SPLIT DECK
Robert Haskell
SPONGEBALL MANIPULATION
Jessie L. Lybarger
SPRING FLOWERS
Buatier deKolta
SQUARE CIRCLE
Louis Histed
SQUASH
Percy Abbott
SQUEEZAWAY BLOCK
Edward Massey
STEEL BALL AND TUBE
Charles Kalish
STIFF ROPE
Wesley Whitehouse
STRAIT JACKET ESCAPE
Harry Houdini
STRAT-O-SPHERE
U.F. Grant
STULL WATCH
Robert Stull
SUPER X LEVITATION
U.F. Grant
SUPERSONIC CARD PREDICTION
Dr. Stanley Jaks
SVENGALI DECK
Burling Hull
SYMPATHETIC COINS
Yank Hoe
TEMPLE OF BENARES
Jack Gwynne
TEMPLE SCREEN
U.F. Grant
TENKAI PALM
TENKAI
THREE-TO-ONE ROPES
Carlyle
THUMB TIP
Professor Herwin
TWENTY ONE CENT TRICK
Carl Brema
TWISTING THE ACES
Dai Vernon
TWENTIETH CENTURY SILKS
Frank Ducrot
TWO CARD MONTE
Theodore DeLand
V SHUFFLE
Hugh R. Johnston
VANISHING BIRD CAGE
Buatier DeKolta
VANISHING CANE
Carl Rosini
VANISHING CARD CASE
Milbourne Christopher
VANISHING HORSE
Ernest Thorn and Heinrich Thorn
VANISHING RADIO
Robert Harbin
VANISHING WAND
Theo Bamberg (Okito)
ULTRA MENTAL DECK
Joe Berg
WALTZING MATILDA
Steve Dusheck
WANDERING LIPSTICKS
Stanley Payne
WATER TORTURE CELL
Harry Houdini
WHERE DO THE DUCKS GO
Servais LeRoy
WILD CARD
Peter Kane
WILLMAN DECK
Howard Wise
WUNDERBAR
Steve Dusheck
X-RAY DECK
Theodore DeLand
ZIG ZAG CIGARETTE
Hiroshi Kondo
ZIG ZAG GIRL
Robert Harbin
ZOMBIE BALL
Joe Karson
 
 
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