Elliot, Bruce: Magic as a Hobby
New Tricks for Amateur Performers
Illustrated by L. Vosburgh Lyons
©1948 Harper & Brothers, Inc., Gramercy Publishing Co, NY
Hardcover, 240 pages
2nd of 3 copies
Comments: Another good volume by Bruce Elliot. Bruce writes in a more narrative fashion, and many of the effects are "run together" in the text. This makes it more difficult to find what you are looking for, but provides for good reading. This volume seems more of an idea book rather than a set of full routines. I highly recommend Bruce Elliot's books, they are especially good reading for the beginning/intermediate magician.
vi Forward: by Orson Wells
ix Preface: by Bruce Elliot, 1947
1 Chapter 1: Sweet Simplicity. Easy with a strong impact
1 Three Pellet Trick, Ball Trick, Ne Plus Ultra (Blackstone): 3 balls counted to table, 2 in left hand, 1 in pocket. Now 3 are in the left hand. Drop 2, put 3rd in pocket. 3 are in left hand again. Repeat again, a silver dollar appears with the balls. Put coin aside, 2 balls in left hand, one in pocket. Put the coin on the wrist and push like a button, and all balls vanish.
6 The Sheep and the Wolves (Walter Gibson): Seven balls represent 5 sheep and 2 wolves. The wolves should be "mixing" with the sheep, but when the farmer checks, all are where they belong. An alternate version using home-made blocks is also presented.
10 Dousing for Nickles (J.G. Thompson): A Canadian nickle is instantly located amongst American nickles using a dousing wishbone and while wearing gloves.
13 Bearing Plate (L. Vosburgh Lyons): A steel bearing is rolled inside two plates placed face to face. The bearing can tap out answers. (uses a TT)
14 Slip Knot (Joe Keene): Knot jumps to middle of rope, then is completely removed and tossed to audience.
16 Gen UF Grant Cut & Restored rope: Impromptu
18 Laurie Ireland/Bautier DaKolma Zombie Interlude: Floating golf ball. It appears to float above your hand; need to watch your angles!
22 Routining ideas for the above tricks
22 Joe Barnett's Ring on Cut and Restored String. String is tied in a loop. String is cut in the middle, and the ring is put on the string. As ring rubs the string, it is restored.
24 No Time Lost: A demonstration on how routining can improve even common effects. Time on watch is written on a slate, A match is broken in a hanky. Other matches are burnt with the last match in the ash tray. Time goes back: the watch is set back, the slate is blank, the match is whole, the other match is restored, the match in the ashtray is relit.
29 Chapter 2: Tarot Trickery: Pure & Simple. Card tricks with the emphasis on revelation, not discovery (finding the card). Sleights used are Hindu Shuffle, false cut, palm, double lift.
31 Back to Back: cards and 2 matchbooks. Cards are shuffled. A square of paper is torn and placed between the matchbooks. Lead from pencil is broken and placed with the paper. A card is selected and placed in the pocket. Pencil writes the card selected on the paper!
33 Double Lift: how to perform a double lift is described with a simple discovery effect as an example.
33 Stacked Deck Ideas (Jordan): with double location
35 Impromptu (L. Vosburgh Lyons): Deck is shuffled, 2 cards removed. Spectator uses a knife to push out the middle section of the remaining deck. These are placed on top of one of the 2 cards on the table. Cards in hand are turned face up, section pushed out, placed on top of 2nd card. Face card on face up pack matches, face card on face down packet matches.
38 Chapter 3: Cartomancy: Pure and Simple Tricks using faked decks.
38 Idea with a 51-card Forcing Deck: Force the odd card, then show amazement when you get it wrong but show the whole deck is wrong...
38 Cagliostros Spectacles: spectator shuffles the deck, has 5 or 6 others select cards. Spectator wears glasses, and the cards are returned to the deck. Magician fans deck before the spectator, and he can read all the cards selected.
41 Menetekel Deck (Svengali Deck of doubles (pairs)): Kiss and Tell. Woman kisses top card with eyes closed. Card is torn and burned. Card doesn't reappear, but when she stands up, it is on her chair complete with lipstick. Includes how to construct your own Menetekel deck.
45 Card in the Wallet using the Menetekel deck. Two methods, one using a stooge
48 Svengali Deck: making your own, how to force a card.
49 Al Baker's Think Stop Trick: Card is chosen and replaced. Deck dealt into 2 piles, 1 pile is selected. A number from 1-26 selected and this number is dealt to: it is the selected card!
50 Al Baker's Best Card Trick: 2 spectators choose one number between 1-10. Magician writes 2 predictions on 2 business cards and hands one to each spectator (folded). Each spectator deals number of selected cards, takes a card and places it with the business card in the pocket. When revealed, they match!
54 Pushing a Card Through Another: stunt
54 Peek Deck (Dr. Franklin V. Taylor): How to make it and several ideas for use.
59 Chapter 4: Slick Quick Tricks
59 Popper: Silk appears from nowhere; no gimmicks used
59 Multiplying Bills: using the same principle
63 Rubber Band Unlink (Ken Crossen): a quickie
63 Linking Pins (L. Vosburgh Lyons): Safety pins, that is. A modification of Piff Paff Poof with a gimmicked pin called Slip Snap Spoof.
66 Insomnia Milk (Al Plough): Dehydrated milk balls (actually moth balls) float and sink in a bottle of "water"
67 Card in the Wallet: with a stooge and an improved version
69 Watch under Handkerchief: is checked by all and then smashed to the floor, it has turned into a set of keys (stooge)
70 Three Loop Monte (L. Vosburgh Lyons): a version of the Chain of Chance, Loopy Loop, Fast & Loose. Spectator can't insert finger into loop of rope
72 Linked (Paul Curry): linking ribbons. Two ribbons, ends over back, loops in front. Magician turns around and loops are raised above the head, now linked!
75 How Many 1's on a bill: answer not told!
76 Stunt using a "cheater" whiskey glass and a 1/2 dollar (thick bottomed)
76 Sugar when broken off puts off spark of light. White Neco wafers are best
76 Burned & Restored Match (Milbourne Christopher): restored burnt match from pack of matches (in spectator's hand)
77 Vanish a match while seated
77 Note on Max Malini's small hands and ability to palm cards
78 Bill Switch (L. Vosburgh Lyons): The crumpled shrinking bill and the crumpled growing bill
82 Static Cling Bills: 1 borrowed, one owned cling to each other
84 Clayton Rawson's Fives to Ones: A rolled up five turns instantly into 5 rolled up ones, plus tips on using a vanisher
87 Cigarette Card Peeker idea by King Stevenson
89 Milbourne Christopher's distant lighting of a cigarette
90 John Scarne's cigar strong man stunt: tearing the cellophane
91 Chapter 5: Conjuring Coin Magic
92 Frank Taylor: Coin appears from handkerchief in jaws of a clothes pin (folding coin)
94 Disappearing (J.G. Thompson, Jr.): improvement to above
94 Fruit Cup Variation (Orson Wells): Coin borrowed and marked. it is then vanished. Grapefruit is broken open to reveal an orange. Inside the orange is an egg. Egg is broken into a cup, and rooted around with the clothespin, the coin is found!
96 Coin Routine: 4 coins are produced from a hanky, put in the ribbon of a hat. 4 coins are tossed invisibly to empty pocket, then revealed to be there.
100 Ideas from Jimmy Harpick on a gimmick hanky
100 Al Lasher's Hat Idea
101 Glass-Disc Trick (Lou Tannen): vanishing coins in glass. Coin penetrates the glass bottom, then the table
104 Glass through the Table: coin will flip under the glass - not!
109 Chapter 6: Elliot's Enigma's (unusual tricks)
109 Sorcerer's Serpent: card selected and returned. A cloth snake finds the card all by itself
113 Joker's Wild: 3 jokers placed in a row face down. Two cards are placed on each at right angles. 3 other cards are placed to the side. First stack is picked up and joker pushed into the middle where it vanishes. It has appeared to the side. Repeated with 2nd and 3rd packet, even with spectator holding it.
119 Finger Throw revelation: Magician states not the total, but the number of fingers thrown by each.
121 Sex Detector: A simple arrow gadget is able to detect the "sex" of face down cards, with the aid of a cigarette.
124 Visible but Unseen: Cards fanned face down, magician having placed a prediction in a hat. Spectator touches one card which is used to scoop up the prediction. it is correct. (Uses a uniquely gimmicked deck)
126 Beer Revelation Quickie: a chosen card is failed to be revealed. The deck is placed on a beer glass, and when removed the writing is in the foam.
128 Seven Wenches of Bluebeard: 7 pics of women are placed in 7 envelopes with names pasted to the packs of the pics. A story is told of Bluebeard who would occasionally murder one of the 7 wives. Have a spectator state one name, then spell it . The resulting envelope is correct. This is repeated. Next, 1 woman is chosen mentally, one envelope is selected at random and pic put back in. Others are mixed up. Still, magician selects the right one.
131 On the Treasure Trail: Props: map, glass of water (ocean), saucer, sand pail (beach). Map is crumpled and held by the spectator. A 1/2 dollar is marked and placed on the plate. Sand is poured onto the plate. The plate is put on top of the glass. Explain that treasure is not usually recovered. It is found in the map!
136 Odds On: Spectator correctly predicts comic figure wrapped up in dollar bill (1:2), hanky color in bag (1:4), card turned upside down (1:52) (it also has a red back), As an optional climax, a written prediction between 1-1000 held securely between a coin sandwich is found to match!
143 Drawing a Coin: A circle the size of a coin is drawn on the palm with a crayon.. The hand is turned over and another circle is drawn. The crayon is put away, and the circle on the back of the hand is erased. The hand is turned over to reveal a real coin.
145 Chapter 7: Money Magic
145 Kolma: A fan of bills appears at the finger tips and are thrown into a basket. Another fan appears and they are thrown in the basket. Again, another fan appears and are thrown away, etc.
164 Chapter 8: Telepathy
164 General comments, 2 book tests (one using dice, one cards) by Ted Anneman
168 A third book test using a gimmicked second book
170 Billet Reading: one ahead. 3 spectators choose cards immediately after magician writes a prediction.
172 Eight Kings: Stack
173 Another one ahead example with one known piece of information (say, license #), get amount of change in pocket, what other had for breakfast.
174 Center Tear: Improved center tear by Graham, H.P.
177 Pocket Seance by J.G Thompson: The name of a dead person is written on a card. the rest are shown blank. The one card is burned, and a skull appears on one card, and messages on the others.
181 The Master Mentalist: 3 spectators write something about first and put paper in cup. First spectator takes card and puts it in pocket, then the 2nd and 3rd spectators do the same. Prediction match the cards. Spectator one stays, writes question on paper and rips it up. It is burned, but the magician answers the question. Fourth spectator chooses a card and reverses it. Magician has a deck that matches it.
186 Phone Book prediction
190 Chapter 9: Slate of Mind (slate magic)
190 Basic Slate Trick: card is selected, the slates are shown clean. Suddenly the slates show the card. Includes erase version.
193 The Hat force: Flowers are called out and written on papers which are tossed in a hat. A spectator selects one slip, concentrates on the flower, and the slates reveal it.
195 How to get rid of the flap for a single slate: newspaper, bag, or envelope
195 A wallet slate: a card is shown both sides and placed behind a red tinted cellophane window in a wallet. A prediction appears on the card when it is removed (white lettering on red card).
200 How to make a folding flap
202 Pocket slate ideas by Clayton Rawson
205 Backward Ghost: 2 pocket slates, one placed crosswise on lower slate, then simply removed to reveal a message (uses magnetism)
207 Two Way Stretch: Two pocket slates shown blank, placed together and given to spectator. When opened, a message has appeared (locking flap)
208 Paul Curry: Deck of cards & slate. One card is selected and returned. Magician writes name on one side of slate, spectator write name on other. Selected card is found face up in the deck. Spectator holds the slate, turns out the lights, and finds out the slate has turned upside down.
211 Chapter 10: The Real Secret Out. An essay on performance of magic, misdirection, presentation, and routining.
218 Appendix A: Hindu Shuffle, palming a card, french drop with finger palm and thumb crotch position.
226 Appendix B: List of Magic Stores
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From Magicpedia, courtesy of Genii Magazine:
Bruce Elliott (1914-1973) was an American writer who wrote mystery fiction, science fiction, television scriptwriter and magician. Elliott was the writer of 15 Shadow stories that appeared in "The Shadow Magazine" between 1946 and 1948. He was a contributor to the Jinx and co-founded the Phoenix with Walter B. Gibson. In November 1972, Elliott was hit by a taxi and lapsed into a coma. He died 4 months later.
•Magic As A Hobby (1948)
•Classic Secrets of Magic (1953)
•The Best In Magic (1956)
•Professional Magic Made Easy (1959)