Etchings In Hacic

«-»ach one of us has but to close his eyes to •m* visualize magicians of the past and present in endless array as though he were walking through a gallery dedicated to "If this be magic, let it be an Art."

There we see the oil paintings and brilliant water color portraits of Herrmann The Great, Kellar, Thurston, Houdini, Goldin, DeBiere, Devant, Ching Ling Poo, Chung Ling Soo, Okito, Carter and Nikola.

Turning our head we see pencil sketches sharp black and whites familiar to the Dublic such as Downs, Clement de Lion, Bertram, ftosini.

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/the many forms of entertainment before the p V-/ today, none appears to be more generally pof than magic. There are, to be sure, various kinds of m« cians. There are some who use tons of compKcat apparatus, and require the help of a dozen stage assi ants. There are those who call themselves "lecturers and inject into their long discourses a few rather easi! explained tricks. And there are stil! others who have developed their personal skill to such a degree that the^ are able to bewilaer their audience utterly, though they use no apparatus save the common objects of everyday life which are to be found in one's own home.

£tr is to this latter group—a small, select company, in-eluding perhaps not more than a half-dozen performers in the whole United States—that PAUL ROSlNii belongs. For years he has devoted himself wholeheartedly to the study of the ort of deception. He has made such extensive improvements In some of the standard conjuring tricks as jo puzzle completely the magicians who have been doing these same tricks for years. And he has devised some new magical effects that have proved amazing not only to the general public, but to expert magicians as well. It is significant that In the "inner circles" of magicians, the name of Paul Rosini ¿s synonymous with the latest and best in magic.

Dr. Byrd Page, Claude Goldin, Herbert Brooks, Jack Merlin, Leipsig, Hugh Johnston, Manuel, Jfalholland, Blackstone, A1 Baker, Dunninger, Jarrow and Qvynne.

A delicate hue envelopes us while passing the pastels. There were Adelaide Herrmann, Beatrice Houdini, Talma, and now Dell O'Dell. Joan Brandon, Rouclere. Jr., Roberta and Marion Byron, Rita del Gardi and Gloria Jerome.

Look at the weird and hypnotising pictures next. To-day we call them futuristic drawings. Here are the masters of telepathy and crystal ball5 The Zancigs, Harry & arena Sharrock,

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MONG the most thought-provoking feats of modern wonder-workers are those which seem to demonstrate possibility of one person actually reading the un-thoughts of another.

appears quite incredible that anyone should be abl* name the card, the number, or the word uoon another person is concentrating, and still more un-ble that one could predict in advance what will ght of presently. And yet, Paul Rosini has for en performing these and similar feats which are ly wholly outside the realm of possibility.

fair to say that Mr. Rosini's work in the field of mindreadfng is without parallel in this country; and this is not surprising when it is recalled that he is the former associate and legitimate successor of the late Julius Zancig, whose uncanny exhibitions absolutely astounded Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and other serious investigators of mental phenomena. Mr. Rosini has developed a series of new tests in apparent thought-reading which appeal strongly to many persons who manifest but little interest in conjuring of the more usual type.

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Ho-oe 3den & Prescott, Jovedah De Rajah, Harry & Frances Usher, The Sunshines.

And then the etchings, that Dart of our Art closest to myself. Here, in a remote corner, are portrayals of those whose efforts are found in precise and exact finger handiwork - the men recognised in their Art rather than through public acclaim. We sit down to look at and study-likenesses of Vernon, Horowitz, Finley, Cliff Greene, Malini, Fawcett Ross, Charlie Miller, Bill McCaffrey. Stewart Judah, John Scarne, Ruf-U8 Steele, Julius Dresbach.

These men, when they meet, have that solitude and comradie for the evolvement of some of the finest things in magic. A trick with six sleights is tossed, football like, back and forth. The sleights decrease by stages. 5,4,3, 2,1, and then a subterfuge may even eliminate the last. Among them they have fostered The Academy of the Art of Magic, the less than two dozen members electing newcomers to the club only after they have proven their worth. Others of the group.besides some of those'mentioned, include Cardini, Garrick Spencer, J. Warren Keane, David Banberg, Ottokar Fischer, Paul Fox, thé late S. W..Hunter, and myself. All tricks and effects worked over are each other's property for we all contribute to the final perfected effect.

My introduction to magic happened in my teens when lobby pictures of Thurston intrigued me so much that I went inside rather than follow my friends to another theatre. I had no money for apparatus, and after getting a few hard earned gimmicks I chanced to meet Zano, an itinerant busker who, with Kalini, had "played" almost every saloon in the countiy with a set of cups and balls in his pocket. Zano told me to throw away my gimmicks and stick to sleight-of-hand. "You can always do something anywhere and at any time."

Wy greatest thrill was seeing Malini perform. I dreamed about him afterwards. The marvelous two hour performance of pure sleights and perfect misdirection used only 2 glasses, 10 new decks of cards, some eggs, a walking stick, a piece of rope, tissue paper, a lemon, and most of these were borrowed. Then came Vernon, whom I think is twenty years ahead of the times. He is a cagey person around the magic shops, often willing"to do a trick, but he conveniently forgets several important features as does Horowitz and as did Leipsig. They know only too well how quickly the others will copy a cute or new twist and it is because of this smartness they sire superior to other magicians when they entertain lay audiences. They have "something." Malini once fooled Horowitz with "Chink-a-Chink',' and years later H. asked It. where he had kept the extra lump. During that time the others pooh poohed the trick, saying they knew all about it, but it was Malini's "how and where" that made it so perfect a piece of misdirection.

The pioneers of the present era of magical etchings are responsible for its development of new sleights never before known or explained in books. They conceived of the subtleties which give the effects we are used to doing to-day every appearance of real magic and miracles.

At the beginning of the twentieth century sleight of hand was confined tc and consisted mainly of what is known among the real experts as magic of the Professor Hoffmann period, with one exception in literature, that immortal book "Sleight of Hand" by Sachs. However, the sincere students so vastly improved upon the general effects and methods described, adapting the dif ferent presentations to suit changing times, that it wouiu be difficult for even the -writers and performers of that time to recognise the material they so laboriously and painstakingly produced.

The youngsters who had a great part in that advancement of sleight of hand are now full grown men with reputations among magicians and laymen alike. Another masterpiece which is a "mist" on ever,' ¡magical shelf is the 3rdnase "The 2xpert at'the Card Table." At the turn of the century, when it first made its appearance, the book was given scant notice by most tricksters because the pass, palm, and force were considered by them the pinnacle of endeavor. The few open ninds that did find a new field between those covers have lived to cherish the foundation for their cleverness.

As time went on, this clan of original thinkers raised the art of subtlety and subterfuge to a height that even the wildest dreams of the oldsters could not encompass. Double faces, double backs, short cards, end strippers, slick cards, daub, and a multitude of other artifices found their wav into clever routines that raised the blood pressure of the most knowing watchers.

Who among us can ever forget Prof, i'orrls Loewy doing his superb top change surrounded by Leipsig, Blackstone, and others at an old n.C.A. meeting. It wafe the misdirection mellowed by years of training in timing each glance and move by a master once the favorite court magician to Franz Josef, aiperor of Austria. Welsh Miller, who first showed a one hand ribbon catch with coins, thirty of them, would be a feast for any eye6 otherwise bored by box and barrel manipulators .

Then came the "Think of a card" era. Dai Vernon and Cliff Greene lived in Cttowa. At the old Bennett theatre they met J. Warren Keane, one of the first since Hofzinser days to try such work, but without faked cards. They saw possibilities in this type of location and set their minds to work. I'any miles south Sam Horowitz had also met Keane. He, too, saw that here was a new base for miracles. Years later, when Vernon and he got together they found many details of common interest and more fires of intense thought were kindled to good result.

Some of the tales that can be told of the lengths to which these fellows will go for a secret are hardly believable. Vernon's quest for a "center deal" is an example. Dai had closed in Nashville, Tenn. and was due to open in Boston, Mass. several days later. Jean was packing while Dai went for the car. .Vhile having his shoes shined a newspaper item about a middle dealer in St. Louis struck his eye. It was his first clue to the whereabouts of a man he had tried for long to see. Several years before, in '«.chita, he'd visited a mexican gambler in the local jail house and had been told of this "wonderful" dealer and "mechanic with cards". He'd tried then to track him down but never was able to catch up with him.

Cancelling Boston, Dai and Jean were on the road west in an hour. The gambling house in St. Louis proved of little help and finally, in Kansas City a gaining supply house man sent him on a 70 mile trip to another town. In order to make an impression Dai left his DeSota Deluxe behind and borrowed a big Buick car for the trip. At the bank in Pleasantvilie the teller mentioned a "mysterious sort of fellow" who periodically male big deposits but Vernon sti"" was dogged by bad luck and couldn't get an £ dress, even at the local pool halls. Sitting the car, and pretty well discouraged, Dai asked a little girl if she wanted ice cream, and more to make talk than anything else asked if she knew where Eill Kennedy lived. And she iiranedi-ately told him where to go. Kennedy turned out to be a truck driver type of person with an ambition to belong to the genteel and elite fraternity of gamblers. Dai's opulence evidently did the trick, and the search for an efficient "center dealer" was over. Two weeks later Dai was back in Mew York sweating over the sleight he now has mastered. In a letter to Horowitz Dai added a postcript, "And a little child shall lead thee." After several years and lots of trouble, an ice cream cone was the answer.

I've wanted to talk about these people as I know them. I've wanted to impress upon you the importance some men give to the fine points of their art, for nothing is too small to be neglected. Three of them have given me pet tricks to pass on and I want to start with anile Jar-row, undoubtedly the world's greatest artist at "sleeving." His puzzle problem is really new.

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