James, Stewart (compiled by): Abbott's Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks For Magicians (Volume 1)
©1941 1st Edition; Abbott's Magic;
©1941 ; Abbott's Magic;
Hardcover, 498 pages
©1975 Reprint Dover Publications, Inc.
Softcover, 400 pages
Illustrations by Sid Lorraine and Howard Melson
Comments (Stewart Tame): This book is an essential part of the library of any magician even mildly curious about rope tricks. About the only significant ones I can think of that aren't included are Professor's Nightmare and The Gypsy Thread.
This edition was first published by Dover in 1975 and is a reprint of the third (1945) edition of a book originally published by Abbot's Magic Novelty Company. Also, the original text included an Illustrations section at the back, which duplicated the illustrations in the text. The Dover edition does not include this section. Thus, original versions of this text will reach near 500 pages.
This is volume one of the series, and two more volumes were released. Volume II was originally produced in 1968, and volume III in 1980 (publishing information from Genii Magazine's MagicPedia). An updated version containing all three volumes (with about 200 additional rope routines) has been released by Fun Inc./Squash Publications. This new volume is 456 pages.
3 Publisher's Foreword by Percy Abbott
5 Dedication: To Dr. Harlan Tarbell.
15 Chapter 1: Knots
17 G.W. Hunter's Puzzle Knot: Magician ties knot around ring in center of rope without letting go of ends or crossing arms.
19 The One Hand Knot
20 The Flip Knot: One end of rope is snapped several times, knot appears.
The Lightning Knot: Hands brought together, pulled apart immediately to reveal knot.
21 Two At A Time: Two knots at once, spaced evenly.
22 The Knot of Enchantment: Ends tied around wrists, covered, knot tied in center.
23 Any Number of Knots: Rope coiled around hand, any number of knots form when stretched out.
24 Guarding the Line: Seance effect, long rope tied around wrists of two volunteers, lights on again reveal knots in center.
25 Adolph Ferber's Spectre Tie: Metal tube over center of rope, ends given to spectators to hold, tube covered, removed to show knot around tube.
27 The Vanishing Square Knot
27 Ralph Hull's Famous Vanishing Knot
30 Chefalo's Vanishing Knot: Double knot.
31 The Captive Knot: Single knot tied in center of rope, ends knotted together multiple times, knot in center vanishes.
31 The Magic Shoe Laces: Knot tied in shoelace fashion, vanishes.
34 John Braun Combination Knot: Complicated-looking knot vanishes.
35 Wholesale Knot Removal: Two ropes tied into knots and knotted together.
35 Gone Again: Follow-up to Any Number of Knots, they vanish.
36 Visibly: Knot tied in center of rope, covered with hand, vanishes, magician shows knot removed from rope in hand.
38 C.T. Jordan's Mystifying Knot Trick: Ring knotted into center of rope, removed and knots vanish under cover.
39 Chapter Two: Penetrations (Two Ropes): Most rely on Grandmother's Necklace principle unless otherwise noted.
41 Ropes Through The Neck
42 Venable's Improved Ropes Through The Neck: Can be examined beforehand.
44 The Ropes And Rings Mystery
45 Stanley Collins New Ropes And Rings Release: Uses Linking Rings principle.
48 Relue's Ropes and Cups: Tin cups and china cups threaded onto ropes by handles, ropes pulled tight, tin cups drop, china cups remain threaded.
48 Oriental or Simplicity Rope Release: Variation on previous effect.
49 Walking Through Ropes: Can be examined beforehand.
49 The 3-in-1 Ropes: Interesting method of preparing ropes so that they may be shown independently beforehand.
50 Mimi-Cords: Wooden block on ropes, can be examined beforehand.
53 Chapter 3: Penetrations (One Rope)
55 Loop the Loop: Stunt in which ends of long rope are tied to form loop, magician removes coat, thrusts right arm through loop and places right hand in vest pocket, can loop be removed without taking hand out of pocket?
55 The Leg Tie: Rope wrapped twice around leg, given a jerk to pull it right through.
57 Nevil Maskelyne's Leg Tie: Rope wound around calf and thigh of seated magician and knotted, magician stands up and rope falls away.
58 Tenkai Rope Trick Through Neck: Similar to The Leg Tie.
59 New Rope Through Neck: Rope knotted into loop before placing over neck.
61 The Handkerchief Release: Performer's wrists bound with hank, rope looped around center, ends held by spectator, performer escapes.
63 Jay-Bee's Undisturbed Knot: Silk knotted around center of rope, penetrates rope.
65 The Vest Turning Trick: Performer's hands tied together with length of rope, turns vest inside out without disturbing knots.
67 The Ring On Rope: Performer's hands tied with three foot length of rope, bracelet shown, penetrates center of rope under cover.
67 The Ring Knotted On The Rope: Additional touch to last trick.
68 Puzzling Ring On Rope: Variation on The Ring On Rope.
68 The New Ring On Rope: Similar to above but can be done with short sleeves.
70 Slater's Ring On The Rope: Full routine for ROR with several penetrations under ever more impossible conditions.
71 Borrowed Ring On Rope: Ring knotted into center of rope tied around performer's wrists.
71 The "Cheeky" Rope And Ring Trick: Ring show hanging in center of rope, spectators hold ends, ring instantly comes free under cover.
72 Edward Smith's Rope and Ring Trick: Ring on center of rope, ends knotted and sealed with wax, ring comes free when covered.
74 The Dropping Ring: Figure eight loops in center of rope, ring on top loop, drops to bottom under cover.
76 Wholesale Ring Removal: Any number of rings in center of rope held in place by one knotted into the rope, all come free under cover.
77 Charles Leedy's Ropo Ringo: Ring borrowed, spectator's hold ends of length of rope with handkerchief covering center, ring under hank, removed to show mass of knots in center of rope, ring knotted onto rope at center of mass.
78 Charles T. Jordan's Psychic Ring Release: Spectator threads ring onto rope and knots it in center, magician threads ends of rope through coat, removes ring, which can be marked beforehand to prevent switching.
80 Eddie Joseph's Ringed: Spectators hold ends of rope, magician takes ring (that has been examined) and covers it, removes cover to show ring knotted onto center of rope, knots may be untied by spectator.
82 Graham Adams Rope and Ring Experiment: Ring on rope, rope tied around assistant, both ring and assistant penetrate rope leaving knots intact.
85 The Rope Through The Stick: Rope knotted around wand, penetrates.
86 U.F. Grant's Witch's Broom: Same as above on a larger scale.
86 Cutting A Woman In Half: Rope penetrates assistant's waist.
89 Chapter 4: Cut and Restored Cord
91 The Famous Kellar String Trick: Very clever method.
93 Karl Germaine's String Restoration: Variant of above.
94 Joe Berg's Japanese Paper String Restoration
96 Figure "8" String Restoration
98 Simple String Restoration
99 Twyno: String laced around magician's fingers.
101 Impromptu String Restoration
103 Eddie Joseph's Restored String
105 Ovette's Supreme String Mystery: Similar to previous, both require pieces of apparatus that are more common today than when the book was written.
106 Louis F. Christianer's Favorite String Trick: String cut into small pieces, dropped in glass of water, fished out, water squeezed out, restored string pulled from hand.
107 The Master Cut And Restored String: String measured, portion of center burned away, restored, still measures the same.
109 S.B. Blodgett's Double Restoration: Two strings cut and restored at same time.
111 L.W. Package Cord Mystery: Very unusual method.
113 Le-Roy's Hindoo Yarn Mystery
113 Ellis Stanyon's String Restoration: Cord through paper tube, tube cut in half, cord remains whole.
114 T. Page Wright's Variation
115 Rupert Slater's Variation
116 Baffling String Restoration: Another Stanyon variant.
117 Wisenheimer String Restoration: Yet another Stanyon variant.
118 Joseph Kolar's Straw and String Trick: Stanyon.
121 Nelson Hahne's Version
123 George Wright's Version: Stanyon casts a long shadow.
123 Floyd Thayer's Wizzo: Stanyon should have gotten a whole chapter to himself.
126 L.W. Restoring The String: String measured before and after cut/restoration, clever method.
127 Chapter 5: Cut And Restored Rope (Impromptu)
129 Figure "8" Rope Restoration
130 The "Hindoo" Rope Restoration
131 Bluey-Bluey's Method
132 Eric Impeys' Impromptu Method
134 Dr. Ervin's Rope Restoration: Probably the one everyone is familiar with.
136 The Short And Long Rope Mystery (Harold Sterling): Rope cut in center, pieces constantly show to be unequal, but attempts to even them up by cutting always result in further inequality.
143 R.W. Hull's Stretching Rope: Cut in two uneven lengths, shorter piece stretched to same length as other, rope restored.
149 S.H. Sharpe's A Rope Repaired
151 John Goodrum's Sleight of Hand Method
152 Graham Adams' Cut And Restored Rope
154 Fernand Verheyden's Method: The first part of this routine is a great setup to go into an impromptu version of Professor's Nightmare. Look at the diagrams and you'll see what I mean.
157 Harlan Tarbell's "Many-Cut" Rope Mystery
160 Zenith Rope Restoration (Method Two) (Page Wright and William Larsen)
162 U.F. Grant's 1933 Rope Trick
164 Carl Brema's Knotted Rope
165 U.F. Grant's Sleight-of-Hand Rope Trick
169 Heisey's Hindu Rope Trick
177 Chapter 6: Cut and Restored Rope (Unprepared Rope)
179 The L.W. Simplicity Rope Restoration
182 L.W. Tug O'War: Two volunteers tug on rope, magician cuts center, rope instantly shown intact. L.W. Vinculum
184 The L.W. Gloved Deception
185 L.W. Restoring The Rope
188 Bert Douglas' Magic Skipping Rope: Cut and restored jump rope.
192 Ringing The Bull: One ring shown threaded on rope, other rings threaded onto doubled ropes so that first ring prevents their sliding off, magician openly cuts rope to free rings, rope immediately shown uncut.
195 R.M. Jamison's Severed Rope
200 U.F. Grant's Stage Rope Restoration: Very unusual method, will not work close up.
201 Scotty Lang's Sucker Rope Trick
204 The L.W. Lost Chord: Requires a change bag.
206 Will Brema's Convincing Rope Trick
212 The Aladdin Oriental Gimmick By Winston Freer
215 K.W. Liddle's Phenomenal Rope Trick
218 L.W. Chased: An early example of street magic.
221 Chapter 7: Cut and Restored Rope (Prepared Rope)
223 L.W. Marking the Center: Spectator ties ribbon around center of rope to mark it for cutting.
224 R.W. Hull's Marked Rope And Thumb Tack
232 U.F. Grant's Super Rope Trick
234 Waldo Clarke's Little Rhody Rope Trick
242 The Tarbell Rope Mystery: Six methods given.
272 Captain Jones' Rope Trick: Variant of sixth Tarbell method.
272 Minocher Nowroji's Restoration: Ball threaded on rope, rope cut to remove it, rope restored.
273 Ball Them Up: Ball on loop of rope, cut to remove ball, ends tied together, covered, ball back on rope and knot gone, rope restored.
275 Nu-Cut Rope Trick By Eldon Nichols: Another variant on the sixth Tarbell method.
277 Doc Nixon's Rope Mystery: Variant of first Tarbell method.
277 The Encore Rope Trick
279 Additional Encore Rope Methods by Bert Douglas
283 Ned Asbury's Variation
284 Dr. Clyde Cairy's Follow Me Rope Routine: Do As I Do with cut and restored ropes.
289 Winston Freer's Suggestion: Variant on previous trick.
294 S. Reilly's Rope Trick: Ends of the rope shown to be painted red, rope cut and restored, then tied around neck, which it penetrates with ease.
298 Eddie Clever's Triple Cut Rope Routine: Rope cut and restored several times under steadily more impossible conditions.
300 F.H. Jeudevine's Rope Routine
301 The Baker Takes A Cut: Whole loaf of bread shown with rope threaded through, bread cut through center, parted to show cut ends of rope,
halves placed together and rope drawn through loaf to show it restored.
303 The L.W. Great Divide: Two wooden blocks shown, rope threaded through, knife passed between blocks and seen to pass all the way through, rope withdrawn to show it whole.
305 The Gessing-Gordon Rope Trick: Two ropes shown, ends visibly pull together forming one rope.
306 The Slow Motion Restoration by Harry Bjorklund: Similar to above but magician cuts rope in two, ends visibly join together.
308 The Marvel Cut And Restored Rope
311 The "J.M." Rope Trick: Ring threaded onto rope and allowed to fall to center, center cut and ring drops to floor, lengths of rope knotted together at both ends, one knot cut away and other dissolves leaving one piece of rope which can be examined.
315 Burling Hull's "Miracle" Rope Restoration: Rope cut and tied by spectator, in magician's hands the knot visibly dissolves leaving one length of rope.
327 "Cut Yourself A Piece of Rope"
335 L.W. Double Restoration: Three ropes of different colors are shown, centers of all are cut, one removed to show it is really cut, other two are restored.
337 The L.W. Zenith Rope Restoration
340 The "Maxam" Triple Cut Rope Trick
347 Chapter 8: Miscellaneous Rope Tricks
349 Stabbing the Loop: Loops of rope laid on table alternately catch or slide off fingers at magician's will.
350 The Bachelor's Needle: Knotted end of rope threads trough loop at will.
353 Same Ring-Same Finger: Magician tied to chair with hands behind back, ring placed in teeth, under cover of spirit cabinet, ring makes its way to magician's finger.
355 Seymour Davis' "Sinbad's Rope": Rope measured, lengths cut off, shown to be same length at end.
356 H. Berson's Miracle Rope Growth: Marked rope doubles in length.
358 Winston Freer's Alagen Rope: Rope visibly stretches.
359 Winston Freer's Master Muscle: Magician pulls rope apart into two pieces with minimal effort.
360 Winston Freer's "Tug-of-War" Rope: Several spectators tug on rope while magician holds other end, rope slides right through their fingers, rope is visibly longer by end of routine.
361 The Hypnotized Rope: Rope stands erect.
362 Grant and Maillow's Ropes of Bengal: Piece of cardboard rolled into tube, two ropes threaded through, one rope cut short, stretches back to full length visibly, written prediction placed in full view, one rope cut short, spectator offered choice of ends to pull on, length matches prediction.
366 Herman Hanson's Climax Rope Trick: Rope openly cut in two, cylinder formed from piece of paper, ropes threaded through, restored.
370 Percy Abbott's "Easy-to-Do" Rope Trick: Cut and restored.
371 U.F. Grant's Amazing Rope Trick: Cut and restored, very clean, can be tossed out for examination.
375 Chapter 9: The Hindoo Rope Trick
377 Rupert Slater's Moth and Rope: Moth rises up rope and vanishes.
381 The Pocket Hindu Rope Trick: A small length of rope vanishes in a fiery flash.
382 The Vanishing Boy: Stage effect, one end of rope thrown into flies, remains there, boy climbs rope, vanishes, rope falls to ground, boy comes running down the aisle.
388 Svengali's Rope Climbing Trick of India: For stage, again, one end of rope tossed into air, remains suspended with end visible, boy climbs rope, slides back down, rope falls back to stage.
391 J.K. Wright's Indian Rope Trick: Rather fanciful explanation for the legendary version of the trick given.
394 David Devant's Hindoo Rope Trick: Devant reveals the workings of a stage version that hews closely to the details of the legendary version.
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Library of Congress
Legendary encyclopedia for magicians contains over 150 tricks: Loop the Loop, Jamison’s Severed Rope, The Tarbell Rope Mystery, The Encore Rope Trick, Eddie Clever’s Triple Cut Routine, Bachelor’s Needle and many more. Step-by-step instructions and over 500 illustrations show you how to master these dazzling feats.
Magic's most creative inventor, who invented over 1000 magic tricks and published many of them in books and magazines. The book Stewart James in Print: The First 50 Years, edited by P. Howard Lyons and Allan Slaight, contained 1025 pages filled with 412 exceedingly clever tricks, and all by Stewart James. Volumes 1 and 2 of The James File by Allan Slaight, contains nearly 1700 pages of Stewart James's magic.
He also compiled and edited the Abbott Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks, and much of the work that went into Stewart James' Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks.
Informative Web site: Magicana.com