MARTINKA — MT241
LOCATION: New York.
DATE: 1899 (?).
OBV: Bust of George Washington right, GEORGE WASHINGTON/ BORN 22 FEBY 1732 DIED 14 DEC 1799.
COMPOSITION: NS, R5, V7. (Kenny-178) 38.5-R
This token has long been called a magician's token, and John Mulholland, writing in The Journal of Necromantic Numismatics, Vol. 3 #2, April, 1968, explained why:
"Pauline Martinka told me that only on rare occasions would customers ask for dollar-size coins. The demand was not suffi¬cient to warrant the cost of having dies made to produce coins of larger size. However, when Francis J. Martinka learned that he could purchase very cheaply a considerable quantity of dollar size coins, he bought all that were available and put them in stock. I do not now recall whether Mrs. Martinka said the manufacturer had gone into bankruptcy, or if it were the firm which had ordered the coins which was bankrupt, but bankruptcy came into the picture, and Mr. Martinka was able to make the purchase for only the cost of the metal. And, further, it is my recollection that Martinka bought all the coins ever struck with that design. I believe it unlikely that I was told of the quantity purchased, but if I were I have forgotten."
Magicians' Tokens And Related Items
An Illustrated check-list with estimates of values and rarities.
by F. William Kuethe, Jr.
TAMS Journal, Volume 18, Number 5, October 1978, (Part Two)
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Martinka & Company is America's oldest magic company. Throughout the years the company has acquired and combined with over 30 other magic firms including Hornmann and Milton Chase and its roots date back to the early 1800s.
5 External links
The business was founded in 1877 by the brothers, Francis and Antonio Martinka.
In the back of their New York City store was a workshop where magic illusions were built for all of the famous magicians of the day. Customers of the past included Alexander Herrmann, Harry Kellar, Howard Thurston and Houdini. And in more recent times, Woody Allen, David Copperfield (illusionist) and David Blaine have also visited the shop.
The Martinka brothers also built the special effects for shows including the original production of The Wizard of Oz. In the 1940s, Martinka & Co. was involved in several top secret projects that still remain a mystery today.
In 1902, the Society of American Magicians was founded in the backroom of the Martinka shop.
The business has had a string of famous owners including Charles Joseph Carter The Great (1917), Harry Houdini (1919), Al Flosso, the Coney Island Fakir (1939), and Jackie Flosso. Today, the firm is run by Ted Bogusta and operates a brick and mortar shop with a mini museum as well as an online magic auction. The company continues to purchase magic collections and libraries, which are used to supply magicians and collectors throughout the world with vintage and modern magic.
In 2004 the shop and museum moved from NYC to Midland Park, NJ. The company has resumed manufacture of magic tricks.
^ Martinka & Co. website.
 External links
Martinka & Co. official website
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