American Notes

Prof. Harry Kellar has been playing to large houses this season. The piece de resistance of his programme was his new lévitation act, which was presented with fine scenic effects ; there was little else that was new in his bill. To the surprise and exceeding gratification of his confrères in the magic art, he did not expose the mysteries of coin palming to his audiences, for which fact, let us all, amateurs and professionals, be truly thankful. Let us hope that he has for ever abandoned such exposés.

If Lawrence Crane will only follow Kellar's example—! ! !

Fred Hurd, the Bridgeport, Conn. Conjurer, has a clever rabbit and duck finale. After first producing a quantity of flowers from a paper cone, he bundles cone in his hands, remarking, "Nothing more in this paper." Then he proceeds to obtain a roll ef paper ribbon from bundle, and from the mass of ribbon a duck and rabbit which he has concealed upon his person during his entire act, nineteen minutes in vaudeville. It is needless to remark that the duck and rabbit are very tame. Mr. Hurd carries them about with him on his travels, concealed in a hand sachel, which is provided with an air-hole to enable the live-stock to breathe. This magician possesses considerable originality ; he calls his act ' ' A Trip to Magicana. ' '

The Theatre " Robert-Houdin, Paris, will shortly be rebuilt, writes a correspondent of mine, it was burned to the ground this winter. This was not the original theatre of the great Houdin, but the place where his son performed. Robert Houdin's old theatre was located in the Palais Royale, and is now no more ; it has, I believe, been converted into a café or store of some kind. Since Houdin's time magic has been on the wane in Paris, that is as an evening's entertainment, it has been relegated to the Vaudeville Theatres.

Maro is rapidly approaching the front in this country, and Kellar will have to look to his laurels. Maro is a very clever sleight-of-hand performer, and an expert shadowgraphist. His entertainment is very artistic and pleasing.

The effects of the late Balabrega have been sold by Martinka & Co., New York City. Among other things a fine coin ladder was disposed of for $20.

One of the largest libraries of magical literature in the United States is owned by Dr. Saram R. Ellison, of New York City. Dr. Ellison, who is a masou of high degree, is very much interested in legerdemain and natural magic. He is an indefatigable collector of magic books, and has recently got up a type-written catalogue of his library. The greatest library on theosophy, spiritism, comparative religions, and mysticism is that of Dr. Leroy M. Taylor, of Washington, D.C. Dr. Taylor has over four thousand books treating of the occult, many of them being exceedingly rare. At his death this remarkable collection will go to the splendid library of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Washington, D.C., the greatest masonic library in the world, and possessed of many rare original editions of magical and alchemical treatises of Cornelius Aggrippa, Nostradamus, etc. Dr. Taylor does not collect books on Sleight-of-Hand, confining himself exclusively to the occult and supernatural, although he has an original edition of William Manning's '' Recollections of Robert Houdin," and a few solid works like "Robert Houdin's Memoirs," etc.

Perhaps the most unique library on legerdemain is owned by Mr. Wm. E. Robinson, who was for years Herrmann's assistant, and who is now astonishing Europe in the guise of a Chinese Conjurer. Original editions of Decremps, Pinetti, etc., and other rare works on legerdemain are to be found in his collection.

Adrian Plate, of New York, has an excellent collection of Dutch works on Sleight-of-Hand. The Dutch are said to be slow, but Plate, a Hollander by birth, an American by adoption, is not. As we Americans say "He is slick at the business."

Henry Ridg^ey Evans.

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