w ere one to sit in on a Saturday afternoon klan-like gathering at most any magic shop throughout the country, and casually mention, "That principle cetainly has stood the test of time since 3d Parsons thought of it," he'd be correct a goodly percentage of the time, no matter what current trick was being talked about. Beyond that, not one present day magus in a hundred could help but reply, "And who is this fellow Parsons?"

The answer would necessarily be, "He used the name of Henry Hardin, for magical purposes." Then the percentage might drop to one in fifty when it came to knowing just exactly what Henry Hardin did conceive, or invent to further the art of magic. With a deep breath we start.

Professor E. A. Partons was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1849. The 'Professor' applied applied to music, for he was an accomplished pianist, receiving this education from William Mason, a pupil of Liszt, and Pyechowski, a pupil of Chopin. He was known for his interpretations of the Chopin works and was head of the New Haven (Conn.) Conservatory of Music for 25 years. Among Mr. Parson's many piano compositions was "The Goldfish", a favorite of John Phillip Sousa and his band.

For twenty years, this man, whose secret hobby was magic, had studios in New York City for many students who became well known. He was one of the first renters of space in Carnegie Hall.

It is of record that, during his lifetime, "Henry Hardin" was a valued friend of great professional magicians. T. Nelson Downs considered "The Princess Card Trick" so worthwhile that much space was devoted to the effect in his immortal book "The Art of Magic". Hardin knew Alexander Herrmann well, also Robert Heller, and a great friendship existed between "The Prince of Ideas" and that Cardiff (Wales) creator, C. 0. Williams. That almost legendary figure of subtle trickery, Arthur Finley, was an "inside" trader of knowledge far beyond ordinary concepts. Nate Leipsig admitted that it was Mr. Parsons who really "sold" him on the idea of going on the stage. Leipsig, then, as well as up to the time of his death, had that modest attitude towards his ability which makes his memory so pleasant. "I'm not good enough for the stage, 3d." However, as events proved, Henry Hardin was right. And as long as Hardin lived, Kate Leipsig made his New HaVen stays under the roof of Prof. Parsons. One could well use a "wish" of three for the purpose of hearing and seeing those two together through the years.

Henry Hardin's Memorandum of Magic catalogue was published early in 1907. Looking it over to-day we are continuously amazed at the way a simple principle was used to make a complete effect. The prices, too, commanded for these unknown subtleties and subterfuges, reveal to us two points of interest. The Kardin ideas were far in advance of that magical era,(Just as were Jordan's secrets to come along about 7 years later for almost a decade of super magic) for each trick depended upon a single subterfuge which, to-day, is almost always just a detail in the performance of an effect. The prices that were charged, and received, for single secrets, to-day are high for entire books, all of which indicates that the art of magic then was really secret .-mowledge to be learned only by serious students, and far from being classed as "trick boxes" "ten cent store stuff" "and children's toys". Either you were a seriously interested person or you didn't learn much.


0 0

Post a comment