Magic History 101: Levitating Block



LEVITATING BLOCK
Let me show you this vintage piece from my collection...

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How I Acquired Houdini's Desk and Bible

I have discovered many magical treasures in my travels, but probably none as exciting as finding these items that belonged to the great Harry Houdini....

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Houdini Comes Alive

WATCH AS PHOTOS OF HOUDINI COME ALIVE!
This is eerie...

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Houdini Colorized Photos

A new AI technology software program has allowed us to colorize some of the photos in our collection.
Certainly gives us a different impression of how Houdini looked in life....

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Houdini Speaks!

HEAR HOUDINI IN HIS OWN VOICE!
Authentic recording of Houdini introducing his Water Torture Cell Escape...

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Houdini Archival Footage

WATCH VINTAGE NEWSREEL FOOTAGE OF HOUDINI PERFORMING ESCAPES!

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Sawing In Half



BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SAWING IN HALF ILLUSION
A hundred years ago, P.T. Selbit introduced this legendary illusion. Magic was changed forever...

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Magic History 101: Moving Chalkboard Novelty



MOVING CHALKBOARD NOVELTY CARDS
A message appears with the sweep of the genii's hand!
Let me show you these two from my collection...

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Ellen Armstrong

ELLEN ARMSTRONG
America's first African American female magician.
Never heard of her? Well, now you have...

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Magic History 101: Chinese Flame Clock



CHINESE FLAME CLOCK
Invented by Ed Massey and then manufactured by Milson-Worth in the early 1950's, the Flame Clock is a fairly rare piece of vintage magic.
Let me show you this Chinese Flame Clock from my collection...

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Richard Potter

RICHARD POTTER
Richard Potter was the Emperor of Conjurers.
He was the the first American-born professional magician.
More people saw his show in the early 1800s than any other performer.
He was the first black American celebrity.
And his story is truly amazing...

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Magic History 101: Mystery Clocks



MYSTERY CLOCKS
Have you ever seen a Mystery Clock?
These are clocks whose hands move seemingly without any clockworks moving them.
How do they work?
Let me show you two Mystery Clocks from my collection...

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Magic History 101: Magic Shop Stories



MAGIC SHOP STORIES
Sideshow Steve and I reminisce about visiting the famous New York City magic shops back in the 1970s...

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Magic History 101: Vintage Magic Books



VINTAGE MAGIC BOOKS
A peek into two of the antique magic books in my library...

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Magic History 101: Vintage Magic Props



VINTAGE MAGIC PROPS
A look back at some favorite magic props...

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Magic History 101: Vintage Magic Catalogs



VINTAGE MAGIC CATALOGS
Before the Internet, there were the catalogs!
Here are my recollections of ordering from the giants of the mail order magic world...

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Magic History 101: Johnson Smith Catalogs



JOHNSON SMITH CATALOGS
The Wish Books of my youth!
Here are my recollections of ordering from Johnson Smith...

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Magic History 101: Magic 8 Ball



MAGIC 8 BALL
Though we know it as a fun novelty toy, the Magic 8 Ball got its start as an authentic spiritualist tool.
It is a fascinating story...

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Magic History 101: Fruit Crate Labels



MAGIC FRUIT CRATE LABELS
I get a lot of questions about how I decorate my back library, where I have been filming the demo videos.
A quick, easy to find and inexpensive choice is to use fruit crate labels.
Here are some colorful examples from my collection...

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Magic History 101: Phrenology



PHRENOLOGY
Phrenology is a quirky pseudoscientific idea that personality traits can be "read" by feeling the shape of the bumps on the head.
A replica of that head is in my collection...

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Magic History 101: Antique Handcuffs



ANTIQUE HANDCUFFS
After last week's post about the handcuffs used by Tony Curtis in the 1953 Houdini movie, I got several emails asking to see more antique handcuffs from my collection.
Here are a few of the hundreds of cuffs I have collected over the years...

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Magic History 101: Houdini Movie Handcuffs

HOUDINI MOVIE HANDCUFFS
If you think you can handcuff a magician, you are wrong!

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Magic History 101: Oriental Magic

ORIENTAL MAGIC
Why do some of the old classic tricks have a Chinese or Hindu theme?

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Magic History 101: Giant's Rings

What better way to show how big a giant is than to demonstrate how big his finger is in comparison to yours!
Let me show you some vintage giant's rings from my collection...

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Magic History 101: Magic Novelties

Broadly speaking, magic as a hobby embraces more than just the usual magic tricks and props.
Magicians are also fascinated by unusual and sometimes bizarre gimmicks, games and- stuff!
Let me show you some vintage novelty items from my collection...

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