Theodore 'Theo' Annemann (stage name Ted Anneman) born Theodore John Squires (1907 January 12, 1942) was an American professional magician who specialized in the field of mentalism. Annemann is most famous for inventing and refining many of the standard mentalism routines that continue to be used by magicians today.
Early in his life, Annemann began working as a railroad clerk and then got into showbusiness as a tenor singer and a magician's assistant. He eventually became interested in mentalism and used his invention and performance skills to become one of the most talented and respected magicians of the 1930s. Annemann perfected his own version of the famous bullet catch illusion, performing the effect outdoors. Accounts of his performance describe the feat as a dramatic effect wherein Annemann would collapse from the apparent force of the gun and then produce the bullet from his blood-drenched mouth.
In 1934 he became the editor of the famous magazine The Jinx, published primarily for magicians. The magazine was primarily focused on mentalism, but also featured ground-breaking effects from other fields of magic. The publication of this magazine ceased after Annemann's death and copies of it have become collector's items. Effects from the magazine have been published in several books and manuscripts, among them Annemann's Practical Mental Magic. This book is considered a classic in the field of mentalism.
Annemann was married twice and may have had a child by his first wife. His personality is the subject of much speculation. On the night of January 12, 1942, Annemann was scheduled to perform his bullet catch indoors for the first time. Before the performance, he committed suicide. Since the subject of suicide is complicated, we may never know exactly why Theo decided to end his own life. It is believed that Annemann was suffering from severe stage fright and drug abuse among other factors related to mental distress at the time of his death.
Ted Annemann's Full Deck of Impromptu Card Tricks (1943)
Ted Annemann's Practical mental effects (1944)
Annemann's Miracles of Card Magic (1948)
Annemann's Buried Treasures (1952)
Miracles of Card Magic (1964)
Annemann's Card Magic (1977) ISBN 0-486-23522-X
Practical Mental Magic (1983) ISBN 0-486-24426-1
Manuscripts by Annemann
Card Miracles (1929)
Mental mysteries (1929)
The Book With a Name (1931)
The Book Without a Name (1931)
The Trick of the Month Club Presents: A Dead Name Duplication (1931)
202 Methods of Forcing (1933)
Annemann Manuscripts (1933)
Sh-h-h--!: It's a Secret (1934)
The Incorporated Strange Secrets (1939)
Annemann, Life and Times of a Legend by Max Abrams, L & L Publishing (1992)