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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » T. Nelson Downs (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gallagher
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Hmmm, now I realise here´s a big name,.. and I suppose I´ve probably over-looked something here,.. but; Is there a `heavy, big book,.. full of pictures, letters, dates, facts, friends, and feints`?

Reading the first half of Dai Vernon´s Biography, I was struck by how ěnformed T. Nelson was. ,.. surrounded with a library of correspondence. Add to that, his fame,.. there must be a pretty big pool out there. Has it been waded thru?

gallagher.
Jim Sparx
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His book is freely available for download at the Library of Congress and Google books may even have it.
gallagher
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Hey Sparacus, I´m familiar with "his" book. I was hoping for something more detailed ABOUT him. His correspondences. His inside "dirty" tricks,.. did you know he gaffed the Five Coin Roll Star(!)?
He was a pretty cleverly sneeky guy,.. as well as practised, polished, and professional.
His Show History must also be pretty interesting,... when, where,... not to mention WHAT. His opening effect(!),... his patter,... "how many", in his Miser´s Dream?. His High Points,.. his Flops, drops,... disappointments.
The guy was a living legend. And well recorded.
I´m surprised there´s not more "in the open",....
thanks,... still hoping,
gallagher.
mtpascoe
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His basic routine is in Bobo's, but it would be interesting to see more on the dialogue used during his act. We always think of manipulation acts to be silent, but during Downs time it wasn't.
Dick Oslund
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Yes, T. Nelson Downs used a gaff coin for the coin star. Bud Tracy, years ago, showed me the silver dollars that had been Downs. I said, "Bud, where is the sixth coin?" He said, "What sixth coin?" I told him that Downs had a sixth coin that had sticky wax in a 'depression'. He could 'ring it in' when he was going to do the star. (The thumb coin is d*** hard.) I know, Clem Magrum spent a whole night teaching me his version of the star. We were at the 1950 IBM convention in Chicago. For years I did it in my 'swaybe & deboner" act. I had become a close friend, and he was my mentor. He showed me, but would not show anyone else. --and I was enjoined not to show anyone either.

I've done the Misers Dream since 1946. It's a feature for me. In the '70s, I met Faucett Ross, at a party at June Horowitz's. After that whenever I was near St. Joseph MO, I would stop to visit Faucett. He had known Downs, and filled me in on many stories. A few years later, I played Montour Iowa, and met Down's nephew. I got many stories from him, too.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
hugmagic
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I just spent the week with Ken Klosterman who had several Down's peices. His vanishing cage and coin ladder stand out.

Down's was a very knowledgeable magician in many areas but made his money by specializing with the coins. Then enjoyed a nice retirement....kind of like Dick Oslund.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
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Signor Blitz
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Richard!

Now you had gone and done it!!

You mentioned Dick Oslund in the magicians of old forum - LOL
hugmagic
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I am just trying to see if he is still reading all this nonsense sometimes. Dick and I have had several good talks on the old timers like Clem Magrum. I remember one time backstage I doubled him over with a remark. A contestant in the contest had all these tables on stage. Each table was used for one trick only. I remarked " I haven't seen this many table since W. W. Durbin worked." I thought Dick was going to bust a gut. Only someone who is as vintage as Dick or a history nut like me would get the joke. And of course, timing is everything.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
duanebarry
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Since most of that information came to light via research for the Vernon bio, it might be worth asking David Ben if there's a Downs project in the works...
trickbooks
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Dean Carnegie, who runs the Magic Detective podcast, recently released an episode on T. Nelson Downs. It is superlative, filled with fascinating history as well as valuable performing advice. You can find it here:

http://magicdetectivepodcast.com/e/ep-23......f-koins/

Gary Brown
gallagher
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Hey Gary(!),
I really appreciate that Information!
Dean does an excellent job here. 👍
Just what I was looking for.

...A David Ben Book,..would also be kinda cool, though(!).

Thanks again,
gallagher
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