Tricks With Coins
T. Nelson Downs
Frederick J. Drake & Co. (1902)
In Collection
Magic tricks
USA  eng
Downs, T. Nelson & William Hilliar (editor): Tricks With Coins
©1902 Frederick J. Drake & Co., Chicago, IL
Hardcover, w/dj, 164 pages plus ads
©1905 Wehman Bros., NY
©1939 Wehman Bros., NY
Softcover, perfect-bound, 84 pages
©1949 Max Stein, Chicago, IL
Softcover, perfect-bound 128 pages

Tricks With Coins by T. Nelson Downs

Abebooks price range 60.00 - 225.00

Frederick J. Drake, Chicago, 1902. Embossed hard cover red boards with gilt title to cover and spine. Some moderate wear and bumping (most notably to top corner on front cover) alond with some scuffing and age staining. Pages are clean and binding is sound. A lovely old collectible. 164 pages.

Approximately sixty Magic Tricks with Coins, including; Down's new "Click Pass", "Fan Pass" & Eureka Pass, Quadruple Coin, Gold vs Silver, Vanishing coins from Goblet, Multiplying Coins, new Coin production from Bare Hands, Coin of Pheonix, Downs Goblet of Mystery, Claret Glass, Magnetized Coins, Demon Goblet, Dematerialization of 30 Coins, 16 to 1 Silver Trick, Fusable Coins, Coin of Mercury, Obedient Coins, & many More;

"Embracing every sleight and subtlety invented & known. A complete explanation of his World-Famous Coin Creation, "The Miser's Dream," as presented by him at the Palace Theatre, London, for nearly 200 consecutive performances"

Editor John N. Hilliard
Product Details
LoC Classification GV1547.D6
Dewey 793.8
No. of Pages 354
First Edition Yes
Rare Yes
Personal Details
Read It No
Location Magic Library (Home) Shelf F
Condition Very Good
Owner Bryan-Keith Taylor
Reprint of the 1st ed. (c1909) published by A. P. Felsman, Chicago.

Downs, Thomas Nelson

Born in Garwin, Iowa. Raised in Montour and Marshalltown, Iowa. Pro manipulator and card and coin worker since 1883. World-famous 'King of Koins'. Elected to the SAM Hall of Fame.

Prolific innovator in coin magic. Invented Back-and-Front Palm (1884), Click Pass (c 1900), Eureka Pass (c 1900), Downs Palm (c 1902), Edge Palm, Coins to Glass (c 1909), Coin Star, Coin Wand, Downs Change (1909), possibly Estimation (c 1909), Dime and Penny Trick (c 1917).
Many of his sleights and routines are described in J.B. Bobo's Modern Coin Magic.
Wrote: The Art of Magic, Modern Coin Manipulation


Thomas Nelson Downs
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

March 16, 1867
Marshalltown, Iowa

September 11, 1938 (aged 71)
Marshalltown, Iowa

Nellie Stone
Harriett Rocky

Thomas Nelson Downs, also T. Nelson Downs, (March 16, 1867 – September 11, 1938) was one of the most famous manipulative magicians renowned for his coin tricks. Downs was also known as "The King of Koins".[1]

1 Biography
2 Death
3 Legacy
4 References
5 External links


Born in Marshalltown, Iowa, he was the youngest of six children in the family of Thomas and Cordelia Downs. His family moved to Iowa from the New York state. Downs' father, the Marshall county superintendent, died when his son was not even a year old.

Downs never took any training in magic; all his tricks were self-taught. By the age of 12, he became an expert in card and coin manipulation. He further mastered his skills by the age of 17, when he took a job as a railway telegrapher and had plenty of time to practice with coins.

In September 1895, Downs decided to quit his telegraphy job and launch a career in magic. At first, he toured Iowa with his partner, Sam Spiegel, a mandolinist. By 1897, Downs concentrated only on the coin tricks — a rare specialization at that time, and established himself in vaudeville, which was a popular avenue for magicians.

The success of Downs career allowed him to get booked into Tony Pastor's New York theater, and to London's Palace Theatre soon after that.

At the peak of his career, Downs traveled frequently, and performed at royal courts. While performing his tricks, he could palm up to 60 coins at a time. One of his most famous tricks was "The Miser's Dream", in which he seemed to pull countless coins out of the thin air.

In 1912, at the young age of 42, Downs decided to retire in Iowa. After moving back to Marshalltown, he rarely left the area. Not quite comfortable with idle retirement, Downs kept busy by opening a vaudeville house on Main Street, a few blocks from his own home at 7 South 3rd Avenue. He also sold a line of magic equipment. Many visitors, other magicians, streamed to his home to share gossip and the latest tricks as well as to brush elbows with the famous sleight of hand artist. The most famous of these visitors included Chung Ling Soo (William Robinson), Mrs. Harry Houdini, and Dai Vernon.

Downs wrote several books on magic before and after his retirement. His first book, Modern Coin Manipulation, was published in 1900 and is still issued in reprints today. His other books include The Art of Magic and Tricks with Coins.

Downs was married twice. He had a son in his first marriage with Nellie Stone, who died in childbirth in 1895. He subsequently married Harriett Rocky on June 3, 1905.

He retired around 1928. In 1935 he was honored with a testimonial dinner.[1]


Downs died on September 11, 1938 in Marshalltown, Iowa.[1] He had suffered a stroke, which paralyzed his left side. He was buried at Riverside Cemetery in Marshalltown. His gravestone reads "King of Koins".


The Historical Society of Marshall County features a display about Downs in its museum.


1.^ a b c "T. Nelson Downs". New York Times. September 12, 1938, Monday. Retrieved 2007-08-21. "T. Nelson Downs, known thirty years ago in Europe and America as the "King of Koins," died today at his home here. He retired more than ten years ago. ..."

External links

"T. Nelson 'King of Koins' Downs". Magician. Find a Grave. Nov. 07, 1998. Retrieved Aug. 17, 2011.