Magical Gems - A Memorial
Parrish, Robert
W.F. (Rufus) Steele (1950)
In Collection
Magician - Biography
USA  English
Steele, W.F. (Rufus): Paul Rosini Magical Gems, A Memorial
©1950 Deluxe Edition by Edward O. Drane & Co.
Published by W.F. (Rufus) Steele
Edited by Robert Parrish
Hardcover, 68 pages

Abebooks price range 98.00 - 195.00

1950 1st deluxe edition of 500 numbered copies, this is copy #244. In blue pebble cloth, 68 pages. with Earle Oakes magical bookplate and the dealer label of Elmer Eckam. A clean, tight, Fine copy.

Contents: Table of Tricks

8 The Life Saver Trick
9 Was It There?
11 Somewhere In the Deck
13 Hold My Wrist (Al Leech)
14 A Card in Flight
16 The Card Under the Hand
16 You Put It In
17 Change In Hand
18 The Fair Count (Joe Berg)
19 Two Decks Red and Blue
21 Impossible
22 Reflection
22 Poker Prediction and a Principle (Ed Marlo)
24 The Card That Wen to Pieces (Bill Simon)
26 Coin and Pencil (Theo Bamberg)
27 Card Through Handkerchief
27 Daub
28 Complete Cover
29 Indicator Card
30 A Comedy Card Trick
31 The Card Through the Case
32 Your Number Your Card
33 Rosini's Favorite Trick
34 Do a Trick
35 The One Armed Magician (Jack Chanin)
38 The Coin Star (Al Leech)
39 Ace Delusion (Paul LePaul)
40 Skidoo
41 A Sure Thing
42 The Best Prediction
43 Prediction Variation (Chic Scheke)
44 The Cigarette Trick
46 Impressive Card
46 The Peek Trick
47 Aceo Changeo
48 A Card Turns Over
49 Follow Your Card
50 Okito Card Control (And a Trick; Theo Bamberg)
51 Kings and Queens
53 Double Reverse
54 Purely Mental
55 While I Turn My Back
56 Easy Enigma (Harry Blackstone)
57 The Ten of Diamonds
58 With a Short Card
59 Aces Running Wild
60 Secret Writing
60 A Guess That is Right
61 Repeating a Good Guess
62 The Homing Aces (Arthur Buckley)
66 Tap
Product Details
Series Number 244 of Deluxe Limited Edition of 500 Copies
No. of Pages 68
Personal Details
Read It No
Location Magic Library (Home) Shelf S
Condition Very Fine
Owner Bryan-Keith Taylor
Paul Rosini

(1902-1948) became one of the most popular nightclub magicians of the 1930's, and 1940's.

Rosini emigrated to the U.S. in 1912 (coincidentally, the same year as the man who would become his magic idol, Max Malini). The family settled in Chicago, where Paul discovered Roterberg's famous magic shop.

In 1919, impressed by young Paul's abilities, Theo Bamberg (Okito) taught him the cups and balls. He was also mentored and influenced by Julius Zanzig, Carl Rosini (no relation), and Grover George.

Charles J. Maly wrote an unpublished manuscript in 1936 about Rosini's act. Maly watch Rosini perform at the Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. He discussed the effects with Rosini and made detailed notes. These notes were in the collection of Max Hapner, who passed it along to John Moehring. With Hapner's permission, Moehring made the manuscript available to Chuck Romano who used them in Part Two of his book about Rosini called "House of Cards".

In the posthumous book "Rosini's Magical Gems" by Rufus Steele, John Braun wrote the following:
"Paul Rosini...was an unusually skillful sleight of hand artist, [but ] it was not sleight of hand artistry that he sold to audiences. He had mastered a greater art—-that of blending dexterity and psychology with a priceless ingredient that was his by birthright—-PERSONALITY-—and the result was always entertainment—unalloyed, unadulterated entertainment. "Shy and unassuming off stage, onstage he was an actor gifted with a rare sense of the comic. The character he played was that of a delightful mountebank—at once disreputable and elegant, waggish yet serious. All his art was utilized in building into miracles the tricks he presented. And they were all old tricks. Nothing new or complicated, just the old tricks...but he could hold a noisy night club audience in suspense while he paused, looked quizzically at the pack, and slowly turned over a card!"
A famous story about Rosini is recounted in "Expert Card Technique" (copyright 1974 by Dover books) wherein Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue write:
"Since the days of the gold rush San Francisco has been known as a city which will not tolerate mediocrity in its actors, but which, conversely, extends a heart-warming reception to any artist of front rank. "Not often does a personality so swiftly become the talk of the town as did Mr. Paul Rosini...San Francisco took to its heart this dapper, amusing young man with a twinkle in his eye and a shrug of his shoulders who jubilantly challenged it to match wits with him. In a fort-night the necromantic comedian's 'It's a dazzler!' became a city-wide catch phrase... "Fabulous stories of Rosini's skill with a pack of cards began to penetrate the gambling houses of the city...No one, they felt, could be quite so good as all that. Impressed by what they saw, they invited the magician to be their guest at their established place of business...Presumably they felt that there they would have him at their mercy. But here again, surrounded by men to whom artifice with cards was second nature, Rosini performed his feats with sure skill, particularly perplexing the gamblers by unerringly locating, with unfailing sangfroid, cards of which they had merely thought. "To the knights of the green table in the city by the Golden Gate, 'It's a dazzler!' now has a special meaning, recalling as it does the amiable young man with the quick wit and the skillful fingers whose final tour-de-force still puzzles those who were present."
Paul Rosini died at age 46.


Chuck Romano wrote in The Linking Ring, Vol. 79, No. 8, August 1999: A reporter of magic must at some point in time have transposed the "I" and "C" at the end of Paul's surname. Consequently, many of magic's most respected historians have unknowingly repeated this inaccuracy and have spelled Paul's surname as "Vucci".

Paul Rosini's Magical Gems by Rufus Steele & Robert Parrish (1950)
House of Cards: The Life & Magic of Paul Rosini by Chuck Romano (which includes a complete reprint of "Magical Gems") (1999) [1]

1. Genii, Vol. 62, No. 9, September 1999, Light from the Lamp, Books Reviewed by Jamy Ian Swiss, House of Cards: The Life & Magic of Paul Rosini by Chuck Romano, page 56
The Sphinx, Vol. XXXVII, No. 9, November 1938, Paul Rosini, page 216
The Sphinx, Vol. XLVII, No. 8, October 1948, Obituary Paul Rosini September 29, 1902, September 19, 1948, page 204
The Linking Ring, Vol. 28, No. 8, October 1948, The Secretary Reports, PAUL ROSINI DEAD, page 106
The Linking Ring, Vol. 28, No. 9, November 1948, PAUL ROSINI AS I KNEW HIM by Theo. Bamberg (Okito), page 30, My Neighbor, Paul Rosini by AL LEECH, page 31
The Linking Ring, Vol. 79, No. 8, August 1999, Paul Rosini: Sophisticated Showman by Chuck Romano, page 52
House of Cards: The Life & Magic of Paul Rosini (1999) by Chuck Romano, Biography in Chapter I, Birth of a Conjurer, page 1


Earle Oakes


September 17, 2011

Earle Oakes was a magic illustrator who has worked with Kaufman and Company and Hermetic Press. He did architectural renderings as a profession.[1]

An Army Aircorps pilot during World War II, Earle was a lifelong artist. He and his brothers produced architectural renderings of most major building projects in Philadelphia for forty years (1951-1992). Following "retirement" he applied his energy and talent to two of his passions–magic and origami–by illustrating books and magazines.

His work is noted for its remarkable detail and wonderful sense of line. The hands have an almost three-dimensional modeled quality.

According to Chuck Romano's book Art of Deception, Oakes started doing magic illustrations part time in 1980 and went full-time in 1987, doing work for The Linking Ring. He began illustrating Magicana in Genii in 1999 when it was purchased from the Larsen family by The Genii Corporation.[2][3]

Marketed Tricks
Master Lock Routine (1981)

Books (as Illustrator)
Secrets Draun from Underground
Jennings '67
Magie Duvivier
Mastering the Art of Magic by Eugene Burger
Folding Money Fooling by Robert Neale
The Greater Artful Dodges of Eddie Fields by Jon Racherbaumer
Gene Maze and the Art of Bottom Dealing
Vis a Vis: A Jack Avis Book
The Feints and Temps of Harry Riser
Sankey Unleashed
Secrets of an Escamoteur
The Mysteries of My Life: Rene Lavand
The Berglas Effects



Elmer G. Eckam

circa 1891
Rochester, New York

December 06, 1963 (age 71)
Rochester, New York

Elmer G. Eckam (c.1891-1963) was a semi-professional magician and magic shop owner of "Art in Magic".


Eckam learned magic at age 13 and made his debut assisting Ray Hogan.
He worked as a clothing cutter and would take leaves of absence to perform. By the early 1920s, his own full evening show was established and was performing at magic conventions.

He published and edited Eckam's Echo as his house organ from 1937 until 1940. His shop in Rochester, was later bought by Norm Sehm in the 1940s.

He performed several times in England and France. During his last European tour in 1954, he got married. On the ship home, Eckam, with his new wife and her three children from a previous marriage, presented a Chinese style act called The Imperial Eckam Family.

He was a charter member of IBM Ring 4 in Rochester.

Obit Genii 1964 January


Rufus Steele
(1881 - 9th September 1955)


Born in Janesville, WI, William F. Steele grew up in New England and attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to become an electrical engineer. His interest in magic came from a meeting of Dr. James William Elliott.

Rufus never married, and spent most of his time active in the magic community and the I.B.M. In later years he was a professional gambler and became a well known card expert. The last years of his life, he lived out at the Wacker Hotel where Rufus, Theo Bamberg and other magicians have made their home, often giving card lessons

Rufus wrote several books on card magic:

Card Tricks You Will Do (1928)
Card Tricks That are Easy To Learn (1935)
50 Tricks You Can Do, You Will Do, Easy to Do (1946)
52 Amazing Card Tricks (1949)
Paul Rosini's Magical Gems (1950)
The Last Word On Cards (1952)

Rufus was his nickname. His real first names were William Francis. He was born in Janesville, Wisconsin. By his own dubious accounts, a pro gambler, soldier (WW I), engineer, journalist, hotel clerk. Inspired and learned magic c1900 by private demo from Dr J.W. Elliott. Amateur magician. Voted into the New York "Inner Circle" by 1940. Died in Chicago.