(Close Window)
Topic: Do You Remember This Book?
Message: Posted by: Thomas Henry (Feb 24, 2018 06:09AM)
Hello Friends,

Okay, this'll be a tricky one and perhaps only within purview of those of you (like me) sporting gray hair. It's been driving me nuts for quite a while.

Way back in 1965 or so, I used to check out a book from our magnificent Carnegie public library in Ames, Iowa on magic. It was shelved in the "young adult" stacks, and I guess I was a young adult, though I rarely behaved as one.

This book, 5 X 8-1/2, perhaps 1 inch thick, with the typical library binding of the day was in fact a major exposure book in the same vein as Marvin Kaye's tome thirty or forty years later. I mean, it revealed all sorts of commercial effects. In particular, I remember it had a full explanation of how the vanishing milk pitcher, the rice bowls, etc. worked. I think Walsh's appearing cane even...well...appeared.

On the other hand, it had quite a few other public domain effects, like the old thing of scooping up a cup bran and having it turn into something or other (which I ended up learning). I actually got quite a bit of good magic from it.

It was just the book I needed at the time, even though it did violate all the principle of good ethics. I was probably the only person who checked it out, though.

But here's the key. I've always been a bookish person, even back then when I was 12 years old or so. I distinctly remember the book was published under auspices of the YMCA (America).

So that's the clue. Do any of you recall such an exposure book put out by the YMCA at least fifty years ago? (I remember it was a bit worn, even then, so probably published in the fifties).

I wonder how many of you have such "non-standard" magic books in your collections and can help me out. If I can find the title, maybe I can find a copy again.

Thanks,

Thomas Henry
Message: Posted by: Julie (Feb 24, 2018 12:16PM)
Hello Thomas

It sounds like you might be remembering MAGIC HANDBOOK published by Science & Mechanics circa 1962.

It is a 9 1/4" X 6 1/2" soft bound format that created quite a stir at the time. For 75 cents you could pick one up most anywhere. It has photographs and building plans.

IMO it is worth your taking the time now to track down a copy.

Julie
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Feb 24, 2018 04:48PM)
YUP! I remember that "book" very well. It created quite a stir among magicians.
Message: Posted by: Thomas Henry (Feb 24, 2018 05:43PM)
Hello Julie and Dick,

Yes, I owned a copy of that, long since lost, unfortunately. I remember a pleasant summer vacation building a number of the props within. My older sister, who was skilled in the wood shop, built me the table with black art servantes from its plans. As I recall, too, the book had a substantial section on gaffed playing card decks. I hadn't thought of it for years!

But the one I'm thinking of was hardbound, and definitely published by the YMCA, of all things. It probably was meant to be used for some sort of"youth" program.

And I realize I'm not giving you all much to work with. It probably isn't going to help by mentioning the cover was a solid gray, and at least an inch thick. The Science and Mechanics thing was perhaps 3/8" think as I remember.

Thanks for the suggestion, though. I think I will see if I can find a copy of the Science and Mechanics handbook.

Thomas Henry
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Feb 25, 2018 07:43AM)
Maybe _Magic for Boys_ by G. Sherman Ripley?

https://www.amazon.com/Magic-boys-George-Sherman-Ripley/dp/B0007E1HAG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519566185&sr=1-1&keywords=Magic+for+Boys+Ripley

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Thomas Henry (Feb 25, 2018 05:58PM)
Sonny, you have a marvelous memory or intuition, or both! I believe that is the book. When I poked around on the Web and checked the bibliographic details, I noticed the publisher was "Association Press." That grabbed my attention. Upon further checking, I found that the U. of Minnesota has a special collection of YMCA materials from which I learned: Association Press was an imprint of the YMCA!

I feel certain this is the one. It's not inexpensive from the used book dealers, but I'm going to spring for it, just to satisfy my memory from over a half-century ago. I wonder if the contents will be as I remember...

Many thanks,

Thomas Henry
Message: Posted by: Steve Burton (Feb 26, 2018 05:43PM)
I just looked at my copy (which I've had since the sixties) and it states on the inside cover, "Copyright, 1954, by National Board of Young Men's Christian Association." Didn't see the Walsh appearing cane in it however. I learned a lot of great magic from that book. His chapter on Your Magic Workshop inspired me to build my own equipment.
Message: Posted by: Thomas Henry (Feb 26, 2018 07:12PM)
Hello Steve,

Many thanks for the info. Am I nuts, or did the book in fact have the vanishing milk pitcher and rice bowls in it?

Best wishes,

Thomas Henry
Message: Posted by: Steve Burton (Feb 27, 2018 01:45PM)
Hi Thomas,
Yes, the milk pitcher is on page 117 and the rice bowls are on page 121 in the chapter on "Magic for Platform and Stage."
Message: Posted by: atkinsod (Feb 28, 2018 10:05AM)
Is "Magic for Boys" the same as Ripley's "An Introduction to Magic" otherwise known as "141 Magic Tricks"?
My information for "An Introduction to Magic" says it was written in 1946, and the 141 Magic Tricks version had some added material in 1973.
I wonder if Magic for Boys was a special release?
The contents for 141 Magic Tricks can be found on my website here: https://magicref.net/magicbooks/booksjr/ripleygshermananintro2magic.htm
Message: Posted by: atkinsod (Feb 28, 2018 10:12AM)
Answering my own question - I think these are different books. The Magic for Boys contents include (based on a description on AbeBooks.co.uk): magical secrets; magic with familiar objects; after-dinner magic; silken sorcery; ball tricks; with ropes and ribbons; magic for platform and stage; reading your mind; campfire magic; and your magic workshop. The Intro to Magic chapters are How Magic Began; Silk of the Orient; Magic With Cards; Magic With Coins; Magic with Billiard Balls; Magic Accessories; and Favorite Stage Tricks.
Message: Posted by: Steve Burton (Feb 28, 2018 04:51PM)
Yes the two are different books but with some overlap. Chapter titles for [i]Magic For Boys[/i] include:
1. Magic is Fun
2. Some Magical Secrets (misdirection, Your Magic Wand, Art of Palming, etc)
3. Magic with Familiar Objects
4. After Dinner Magic
5. Silken Sorcery
6. Ball Tricks
7. With Ropes and Ribbons
8. Magic for Platform and Stage
9. Reading Your Mind
10. Productions (Phantom Tube and Squared Circle, etc.)
11. Campfire Magic
12. Just for Laughs
13 Your Magic Workshop
14. A Magical Benefit Show
15. Dealers ( over 80 listed including addresses! Abbott's Baker's Fun Shop, Berg's, Chavez, Max Holden, UF Grant, Tannen, etc. )

I'd love to know who did the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, they are so whimsical and relevant to the content. Perhaps Ripley himself?
The book garnered great reviews when it was released and Fitzkee was effusive in his praise for it.
Message: Posted by: docguitarman (Nov 25, 2018 11:13PM)
[quote]On Feb 24, 2018, Thomas Henry wrote:
Hello Julie and Dick,

Yes, I owned a copy of that, long since lost, unfortunately. I remember a pleasant summer vacation building a number of the props within. My older sister, who was skilled in the wood shop, built me the table with black art servantes from its plans. As I recall, too, the book had a substantial section on gaffed playing card decks. I hadn't thought of it for years!

But the one I'm thinking of was hardbound, and definitely published by the YMCA, of all things. It probably was meant to be used for some sort of"youth" program.

And I realize I'm not giving you all much to work with. It probably isn't going to help by mentioning the cover was a solid gray, and at least an inch thick. The Science and Mechanics thing was perhaps 3/8" think as I remember.

Thanks for the suggestion, though. I think I will see if I can find a copy of the Science and Mechanics handbook.

Thomas Henry [/quote]

I recently discovered there is a free facsimile copy of the Science and Mechanics "Magic Handbook" on Lybrary.com in The Learned Pig Project (TLPP)section.

Looking through that brought back the memories too! I have fond memories of my grandfather assisting me in building the square and circle "magic silk box"! Complete with identical cutouts on the front! After viewing the facsimile copy I was able to reconstruct my memory of my early journey in magic. I think it started when my parent's bought me the Royal Treasure Chest of Magic probably around 1960-61 for Christmas. After that I purchased the Magic Handbook immediately when I saw it on the magazine rack! From there I sent in for the "House of a Thousand Mysteries" catalog that was advertised therein! About the same time I discovered the magic shop in downtown Kansas City Mo! The owner (named Morey, IIRC) was great and steered me in the right directions when I would ask about some effect I saw in the "House of a Thousand Mysteries" catalog. I bought it from Morey of course! So long ago, but nice to remember now!