Main Page

On March 3, 1941, The Sphinx received a letter from the National Council, signed by Leslie P. Guest, Secretary, informing The Sphinx that the following action had been taken at the Council meeting March 1st, with regard to the selection of an official organ for the M.U.M. publication for the 1941-42 year: "By a large majority vote the Council has instructed its officers to execute a contract with either The Sphinx or the Genii on the following basis:

"M.U.M. for 1941-42 to consist of 48 pages (4 pages per month) bound in all copies of the publication, also subscriptions to members at a cost not to exceed $2.00 per member.

"The Council further voted that the successful bidder should submit a contract incorporating the 8 points outlined in our letter to you dated February 18, 1941, and jointly signed by Wm. J. Arenholz and Leslie P. Guest."

This year The Sphinx offered the same contract to the S.A.M. which has existed for the past three years. It provided for subscriptions for the members at the special price, as has prevailed in the past, of $1.80 (not $2.00), and to give, completely free of charge, thirty-six pages yearly to the Society for the publication of its Bulletin, M.U.M. It further provided that the National Council could purchase four or more pages a year, if needed for M.U.M., at the special price of $75 for each four pages. During the past year, the editor of M.U.M. only required four additional pages. The Sphinx regrets that as a non-profit-making corporation, it does not have the money required to give the Society more than thirty-six pages a year.

In regard to the 8 points outlined in the letter from Mr. Arenholz and Mr. Guest, the following points had been provided for in the contract submitted to the Society; and which has been in effect for three years: Points No. 1, No. 2, No. 4 (that is, if we understand the meaning of what is written), No. 6.

Points No. 3, No. 5, No. 7 and No. 8 The Sphinx is unable to comply with for the following reasons:

Point No. 3 (N. C. letter of Feb. 18)—"The magazine to be mailed by the successful publication direct to the members of the S.A.M. by second class mail."

The Sphinx is not in a position to make the Postal Laws «id Regulations for the U. S. Government. The United States Post Office, and no one else, has the authority to decide how a publication may be mailed. Obviously we cannot contract to do something over which we have no control.

Point No. 4 (N. C. letter of Feb. 18)—"Two subscription lists to be mailed by the National Secretary so as to reach the publisher by the 1st and 7th of each month. Both subscription lists to be filled by the publisher during the current month."

Of course we can agree to the above and the contract submitted reads as follows:

"The Sphinx Publishing Corporation will address envelopes monthly and deliver copies of the magazine to S.A.M. members on receipt of a list of the names and addresses of those entitled to receive copies, and payment for such subscriptions. In order for the copies to be mailed out on publication date in any given month, the list of subscribers and payment for such subscriptions will be received in the office of the Sphinx Publishing Corporation no later than the first of each month."

However, we know from past experience that what they really mean in regard to the second list to reach The Sphinx by the 7th of each month, is that they want copies for these subscriptions also to be mailed on publication date—not during the current month. We can and have agreed to send out copies during the month, but we cannot agree to send out copies on publication date unless the subscriptions are received no later than the first of that month. This applies to all subscriptions —not only the S.A.M. subscriptions. Mechanically it is impossible for us to enter the subscriptions, have addressograph plates made, envelopes addressed and in our printer's hands by the 6th of the month (as specified in our contract with him to insure our maintaining our 10th of the month publication date) unless we have such subscriptions no later than the first of the month.

Point No. 5—"Payment for subscriptions to be forwarded to publisher two to three days after the receipt by the Treasurer of the subscriptions ordered placed by the Secretary. This would normally be the 3rd and 9th of each month."

Several years ago when the National Council was in dire straights, because one of the officers had misappropriated the money collected from members for their subscriptions to The Sphinx, The Sphinx nevertheless carried on and continued to send copies of the magazine to the members, even though all the subscription monies were never turned over to The Sphinx. All this is a matter of record.

In order to avoid a similar situation, the Board of Directors of The Sphinx passed a rule requiring that payment be made to The Sphinx at the time the subscriptions are sent in.

This is only fair and just. You have paid $1.80 along with your per capita tax for your subscription to The Sphinx. There is no reason for any officer of the Society to elect to withhold this money even for a day from The Sphinx. It is subscription money that belongs to you and The Sphinx and is in no way S.A.M. funds.

Yet, in the past few years the National Treasurers have repeatedly elected to withhold The Sphinx money until they felt like turning it over to The Sphinx. When The Sphinx objected to this, the officers were loud in making accusations that The Sphinx is not willing to cooperate with the Society. This is not a fair or just accusation. The Sphinx has cooperated with the Society in every way to the fullest extent of its ability. It does — and rightfully so —refuse the National Treasurers to take it upon themselves arbitrarily to set rules as to when they wish to forward to The Sphinx subscription monies sent to them.

Point No. 7—"The publisher agrees to maintain a sufficient number of previous issues on hand to cover estimated subscriptions by the Society. For the year 1941-42, it is estimated that between 950 and 1000 subscriptions will be placed. In the case of shortages, the publisher agrees to reimburse S.A.M. members direct for such shortage of copies at the single copy price of 25 cents each."

Naturally The Sphinx is perfectly willing to reimburse S. A.M. members—or any other subscribers—in the event that it is not able to supply copies of the magazines, through some accidental shortage, beyond its control. On the other hand, The Sphinx only can agree to reimburse subscribers in the same amount as has been received. The S.A.M. members pay but 15c per copy for The Sphinx. Therefore The Sphinx could not agree to refund more than this amount.

Point No. " The Editor of M.U.M. shall have the privilege of instructing the publication as to the number of pages required monthly. The publication agrees to advise the Editor of M.U.M. of unused space available, enabling him to insert any last minute copy in space alloted."

In the letter of March 2nd from the National Council they state: "M.U.M. for 1941-42 to consist of 48 pages (4 pages per month)." In that same letter they stated that that "The council further voted that the successful bidder should submit a contract incorporating the 8 points outlined." Obviously,The Sphinx cannot agree to print both a specified and indefinite number of pages. Furthermore the closing date for the publication of all copy to appear in The Sphinx is the first of each month. We cannot receive M.U.M. on the first of the month, have it set and be in a position to advise the editor on the same day, how much unused space is available. It requires 48 hours at least to have this material set and paged. When the Editor sent his copy in no later than three printing days before the first of any month, we were happy to have it set and advise him of unused space in time for him to get additional copy to us by the first of the month, the definite closing date.

Year after year, The Sphinx has lived up to its part of the contract with the S.A.M. However the officers of the Society have elected to disregard their end of the contract. This has meant considerable extra time and money to The Sphinx. The Secretaries have made errors in the past, the treasurers have refused to pay for the Secretaries' errors and The Sphinx has been left holding the bag. We regret thut wc can no longer continue in this manner.

(continued from page 752)

himself. Re turns it over to find your professional message.

A blank card is on top. Next comes your business card, face down, but on Its upper side is printed "DO IT AGAIN". On the under side of the third card from the top is printed "TORN MS OVER". This works exactly as the second variation - first a triple lift and then a double. The effect is good - more and better methods are welcome - but ño arm-waving top changes,pleas e J J


The magicians are having their annual banquet—they ordered rabbit stew, so we're serving 'em silk hats and they can furnish their own rabbits!

MICKEY MacDOOGAL, in the Damon Room of the Pythian, New York City, March 11, 1941.

The show was scheduled for 8:30 P.M. but started at 9:10 P.M. The excuse was that they were waiting for people who might be delayed by the local bus strike, but you and I know that it doesn't keep a magic show from starting on time.

About 70 people were present. Harold Haber, Jr. introduced Mr. MacDougal, and begged the audience to tr - and make the performer feel that there were at least 200 persons in the room. And ther Mickey MacDougal hopped upon a small platfoni, a baby spotlight was turned on him, and off ".e went.

Most of thr magicians that I have seen would do well to stv.dy the MacDougal method - he has much that they could learn with profit. It is well to remember that whatever else happens, the audience must be entertained, ahd Mickey hands out entertainment aplenty.

His main theme is that $12,000,000 a day is lost by Americans to cheats, and that he, Mickey, is going to show how this cheating is done, and how it can be detected. He takes the audience into his confidence; he is chatty with them; he assumes the role of a friend who is going to guide their footsteps; and how the folks love it.

First he takes a new pack of cards, having a member of the audience vouch for the ract that Mickey has never touched them before. He then breaks the seal, makes a fuss about removing the jokers and extra cards, thus locating the aces, gives a few stacking shuffles, and by means of a smooth bottom deal gives himself four aces. That wows 'em, and they like it even better when they are shown how It was done. Somehow or other, this did not seem to me like exposing in the magical sense.

Then he explained false cuts, just fast enough to gather an idea of what it was all about, and much too fast for an inexperienced person to even begin to try to copy. He did a quick Charlier pass and claimed that even a speed camera could not detect it. Careful, Mickey, someone might take you up on that one.

All through the evening he used such phrases as "It is impossible for the keenest eye to detect, but I'm going to show you how to detect it", or, "I'm here to show you what to look for." And everybody beamed at the nice man who was showing them how not to lose money. He then gets the aces to the bottom secretly, Invites a man from the audience, and show him how to stack it for a five-hand game by the "milking" process. No matter how often people see four ace6 turn up in one hand, they register joy at seeing it the next time.

And then came the Hindu Paper Mystery. Don't sneer, just read on and get educated. Nothing but the old pitchman's gag - the same old paper folding hoax that you have seen at any carnival or on any street corner, but it was dressed up into a masterpiece. First Mickey demonstrated it from the platform with a few coins. Then papers were passed among the audience, and under the master's instructions, they did it in their own laps and fooled themselves - and don't think that they weren't fooled. Of course they took the papers home to fool their friends, and it did no harm to have Mickey's name printed on top.

By way of variety, the talk went on to demonstrations of faked dice. Some of them were shown, and then a catalogue of gambler's supplies was produced, and, believe it or not, Mickey entertained them by reading from the catalogue about marked cards, dice-switching sticks, roulette wheels, reflector rings, and what not.

A lady and gentleman were then invited up, and a game of bridge was played. All manner of petty cheating devices were then demonstrated -using am insufficient "bid" as a weapon, stacking on the pick-up, crimping to force a cut, spoiling a grand slam by a misdeal. All this was lapped up with murmurs of approval.

And finally a couple of rugged poker stories with a good punch ending. That was all, but don't think that those people did not go away from there glowing with pleasurable and admiring memories of Mickey MacDougal, the card detective.

The man sells himself - not only as a winning and friendly personality, but also as a man who can come to your club and sniff out the cheats for you. Mickey is a success, and he deserves every bit of it.

S omebody stuck a pin in the balloon. It blew up in Johnny Yulholland's face while he still was trying to stretch it (the balloon) just a bit more. With angular John labeled "The Sphinx", the balloon "S.A.M.--*!. U.M.", and the wind "Arrogance", the picture becomes clearer. We guess that the 40 year old monument to magic means a lot to the Milholland. Beginning with the May 1930 issue of The Sphinx, he picked up the reluctantly dropped reins of "Doc" A.M. Wilson, M.D. when the latter suddenly passed away. Dr. Milton Bridges (N.Y.C.), now deceased, was to have a little to say about the continuance of the mag but dropped out of active participation. A corporation, formed by Bernard M. L. Ernst (N.Y.C.) consisted of, quite naturally, S.A.M. members, almost all of the stockholders being residents of, you've guessed it, N.Y.C.

The S.A.M. has 28 Assemblies throughout the country, but, invariably, National Council meetings are held in N.Y.C. except for the annual convention officer-making get-together palavers In one city or another. The National Council meetings in N.Y.C. always have decided the fate of M.U.M. (Magic-Unity-Might), the bulletin of Society news once published by itself for members only, but, after Houdini, given to Wilson's Sphinx With no contest for the right to serve society members at a slightly cut price to be absorbed by club dues.

Johnny and Milton Bridges were close friends of Wilson and his choices for succession to a 29 year old chair. With The Sphinx came M.U.M. and, moved from Kansas City, Mo., to N.Y.C., the mag's"Offical Organ of the Society of American Magicians" title seemed perennially assured. It looked hardly possible to upset the yearly contractual award, not only because The Sphinx was the "class" publication of magi, but because of the Council's overweight In stockholders.

Johnny's clock ticked and balloon enlarged as he made terrific changes in The Sphinx both as to make-up and policy. Being a professional lecturer-magus with a yen to crash the intel-legencia and cane-carrying set, as well as desiring recognition among the "fourth estate" as editor of magic's oldest magazine, he molded The Sphinx (plus M.U.M.) into a "slick" sheet of appearance, if not quality, so that acquaintances attached to our country's better journals wouldn't consider him the purveyor of a "pulp" type of monthly.

As the Mulholland's fame soared, the intrinsic value of The Sphinx to magicians soured. If one doesn't think that magical advertisers have seen the light he need only compare the last Wilson Sphinx (April 1930) with a current issue of the publication using the same name.

To Johnny the transition probably has been worth while. His claims to a non-profit magazine are not to be doubted. He ignores, "high-hats", insults, and bullies contributors and advertisers. He Is adamant toward people who contribute to his welfare, for The Sphinx contributes largely to his way of life in its being a key (or wedge?) to the doors of those he considers great. Johnny would drop The Sphinx to-morrow morning at dawn could he see his way clear to being a successful author, and possibly, performer. Until that day, however, it gives him a position from where he can pluck harp strings not given to most of us.

perhaps we are too harsh on our journey to a point. Perhaps Johnny's staff, aides, help, aft» sistants, etc., are creating the impression of £ui ogre at large. Perhaps our impressions have been formed because he has left an important (to magicians) journal in the hands of incompetents while he parades upon its venerable age. If true —i we still mean what we have said.

With the picture pretty well formed now we mention Genii. Bill Larsen, an old time adherant of Wilson, conceived or and started Genii nearly six years ago. A magic nag's popularity cart be judged by the amount of advertising it carries. Magical dealers are penurious and don't waste money. Rumors to hell and gone, we know definitely that Larsen owns Genii lock, stock and barrel, as did Wilson. He wants, and has produced, a magazine for magicians. If not as good as Wilson's Sphinx, it is far better, evidently. than Yulholland's publication of self-aggrandi zement.

Tired of strife and trouble, somebody high in S.A.M. brackets upset the apple-cart, and, before the inner coalition could maneuvre against the scepter-waving of King John,(Tom Worthington, 3rd, of The OsIrian, first called him that several years ago) M.U.M. was in Genii's back yard. Y/ith 950 odd subscribers at stake in the transfer, it is quite a back yard.

In this issue of The Jinx, and only because we hope that our writings on this page of a year back helped stir a stagnant pool, we give pages 753 and 754 up to facts. Exhibit A is a letter in answer to our request for information. Exhibits B and C were found in the same envelope by an S.A.M. member. (We resigned over a year ago because, as a member, we were sort of tongue-tied) Exhibit D is the introductory page of an over 20 page mss. received by all S.A.M. Assemblies detailing every move of those in charge and their reasons why.

We consider all of this interesting, not only to member of the Society of American Magicians, but to everyone who has bought a copy of The Sphinx. So long as that journal is sold to anybody with 25* (N.Y.C. novelty shops display it in their windows) M.U.M. is part and parcel of their purchase. We've always said that the society's bulletin should be issued privately by them with a salaried advocate of truthful news. But, if we can't see the whole cake, it's nice to see a goodly part of it, and we feel that the new set-up is a step in the right direction.

We'll get back to general news and reviews next week, Johnny having taken up so much of our time now, so it's a sign-off with Louis Haley's thought "No art is safe in the hands of one who is merely looking for his bread and butter in the practice of it." Gabbatha.'

Page 756

The Jinx is a weekly publication for magicians. Published pj Theo. Annemann, Waverly. New York, the prioe per issue is 15 cents - by subscription 8 Issues for |1.00. Effects herein shall not be manu-[j. factured without the publisher's A |j| written consent. Copyright 1941 . |fl raws*«-


Mors often than not the very simplest kind of method applied to a very direct and uncomplicated effect makes the best table trick in a performer's repertoire. There have been a lot of reputations made with cut«,close-up masterpieces passed by and over with undisceming eyes. While that which follows will not win eternal fame or renown, it well may serve as a reliable talk-maker for others as it has me.

The magician writes a short prophecy on a slip of paper which is folded and held by a spectator. A half-dollar is borrowed and placed on the table, date side up. A deck of cards is shuffled, cut into two packets, and one of them is then dealt into four face down heaps.The date on the coin is checked and the heaps turned over. The values of the cards thus revealed correctly state the date of the half-dollar. Next the values of these four cards art added together and the spectator counts to that total in the second half of the deck. The card lying at that position is put face down on the table while the prediction paper is read. It not alone has foretold the name of the card thus picked, but its actual location in the deck.1

The first part of the stunt was shown me by a miner in the North country of Canada. It was the only trick he knew, and to it I added the second part. At any opportune moment get four cards on top of the pack to correspond in figure values with the four figures of the date on a half-dollar of your own. The card you predict

0 0

Post a comment