The Magic of Matt Schulien - Chicago's Biggest Magical Entertainer
Willmarth, Philip Reed
Magic Inc. Chicago (1991)
In Collection
Magic tricks
USA  eng
Willmarth, Philip Reed: The Magic of Matt Schulien
Chicago's Biggest Magical Entertainer
©1959 Ireland Magic Co (First Edition), Softcover
©1976, 1994 Magic Inc. Hardcover,
184 pages

Comments: A great tribute to magician Matt Schulien with lots of magic, anecdotes, and tons of photos


3 Foreword: Harry Blackstone, NYC 23 June 1959
7 Introduction: P.R. Willmarth, May 1959
9 Not the Best, But the Biggest (Frances Ireland Marshall): an autobiography of Matt Schulien

16 Basic Sleights
16 Matt's Fan Location: a card control during the return of a card to the deck
17 The Crimp Location and Steal: another card control
18 The Palm: Matt style
20 Matt's Hideaway: the advantages of being rather large...

21 Quick Discoveries
22 Cut the Cards: Spectator cuts to the face up selection
22 The Card in the Hat: with a flick of the finger the selection jumps out of a hat
23 Air Pressure: the deck is dropped on the table and the selection appears face up
23 The Card in the Cuff: chosen card is found in the sleeve cuff of the magician
24 The Card in the Card Case: selection is found back in the case
24 One Hand Discovery One Card: With a one hand cut, the selection is removed
25 One Hand Discovery Two Cards: as above but two cards are found
26 Spell It: the spectator's name is spelled to the selection
27 Three Reversed: Three selections reverse themselves in the deck
28 The Invisible Hair: the chosen card emerges from the deck with the aid of an invisible hair
29 The Slap Discovery: deck is slapped from the spectator's hand, and they are left holding their selection
32 Letter to Matt Schulien

33 Tricks With the Change
34 The Change: Matt's way, and additional references by the editor
34 The Professional Touch: a wrong card is sat upon by a spectator. The magician seems to take the card from under her, but it turns out the card she is sitting on is the selection
35 Put It Back in the Deck: Spectator takes wrong card, but it then changes into the right one
37 The Slam and Flip Over: another wrong card turned right
37 That's Your Card: A Sucker Trick
39 Matt's Ribbon Spread Trick: an indifferent card seems to leap and change into the selection while a ribbon spread is flipped over. Two approaches.
43 Sphinx Picture

44 Tricks With the Force
45 The Face-Up Spread Force: doesn't always work
46 The Fan Force: almost 100% effective
46 Matt's Call a Card Force: a card called out is the one selected (accomplice)
48 Matt's Face-Down Spread Force: spectator takes any card from a face down spread, yet it is forced
52 Find the Five: a Seven is pulled out of the pocket as the selection, but is thought to be wrong. It turns out to be right!
53 The Lie Test: Magician directs spectator's finger to the right card
53 The X-Ray Eyes: by looking down the spectator's throat, the magician can tell what card she is sitting on

54 Miscellaneous Magic and Gags
55 The Vanishing Deck: the deck is thrown into the air, but only a single card floats down
55 Testing a Half Dollar: a gag
56 Bending a Spoon: an illusion and then a gag if you have cheap silverware handy
57 Bending the Arm: an apparent bending of the arm that hurts
57 Twister: pulling one match through another
58 Matt's Match Magic: a clever variation on two in the hand, one in the pocket with match sticks
59 The Jumping Match: a matchstick jumps far away when a spectator blows it out
61 Matt's Goldfish Eating: Matt's approach

66 Card Routines
67 Where Do You Want Your Card?: Top, middle, or bottom of the deck?
69 The Mental Fan Force Routine: actually a card location that can be used for multiple routines
73 A Sample Routine: using the above
73 Counting the Cards: a comedy bit with the spectator and magician trying to count how many cards they have (a seven phase trick)
87 Matt's Crazy Poker Deal: a gambling demonstration
87 The Cards and the Cigarette: a Chink-A-Chink effect with cigarette pieces and cards

93 Tricks With Gimmicks
94 The Pea Can: Matt's routine for this commercial effect, though he uses a custom Pea Can that has two extra compartments rather than one
95 The Half In the Bottle: Using a folder and routined so all is examinable at the end
99 The Fifty Sponge Balls: Two in the hand and one in the pocket with sponges and a multi-ball climax
101 Matt's Color Changing Knife Routine: a four knife routine - W, B, WB, BR. With audience participation in six phases

110 Smash Discoveries
111 The Card In the Sugar: torn corner ends up in a sugar cube wrapper, and then the rest of the card appears from the deck
113 The Corner in the Glass: an alternate ending if you don't have sugar cubes handy
113 Card In the Matchbook: lit match is waved around the deck, and the selection ends up in the matchbook. Teaches a card fold.
115 The Card Under the Tablecloth: Chosen card is tapped through the deck and the tablecloth
121 Here Comes Kelly: The Card in the Glass Effect
123 The Card on the Wall: Matt's classic approach

125 The Real Secrets of Matt Schulien: The Matt Schulien philosophy of magic
130 A Summary of Matt's Advice on Magic
132 About Matt (Philip Willmarth): a short autobiography
138 Schuliana: Matt and the children
144 Bibliography
144 Articles or Books Which Mention Matt
144 Books Referred to In the Text
147 Puzzle Picture: a "Where's Waldo" photo for Matt

148 Matt's Kind of Magic: a tribute
148 Matt's Card in the Matchbook - Two: another approach
149 Card and Glass (Larry West): two cards change places one on top of a glass and one under
149 The Card on the Forehead (Johnny Platt): a comedy effect
150 The Vanishing Match (Jim Ryan): an appearingly impromptu vanish of a burnt match (TT)
150 Card Under the Lapel (Eddie Fechter): card is visible to the audience but not the spectator
161 Which Is Which (Johnny Platt): Spectator holds his card, but it is then changes places with the magician's selection. The magician's selection is now on the deck, and he card the spectator is holding has a funny message on it
152 Air Pressure Turnover (Chuck Morris): the deck is dropped and the spectator's selection appears face up
152 The Sugar Cube Trick (Heba Haba Al): Heba Al's approach to the mark transfer from sugar cube to spectator's palm
154 The Sponge Rabbits (Frank Everhart): a simple but direct presentation of the sponge rabbits
155 Frank Everhart Does Paper Hats and Pants: Frank's approach to this paper tear
155 A Trick You Can Write Home About! (Don Alan): Postage stamps change color and position in the hands and on an envelope

161 Chicago Restaurateur Matt Schulien Dies: Obituary
162 About the Author: one page autobiography of Phil Willmarth
163 Schuliens' Today: a quick look at the restaurant
166 Editor's Note 1992: Update on many more magic legends who have passed away since the original writing of this book
174 Schulien Update 1994: An update on the restaurant, Matt's children, and more.


A great big wonderful book about a great big wonderful performer and his tricks - the late great restauranteur, Matt Schulien. Many Chicago magic notables honed their skills while working tables at Schuliens or were influence by Matt's magic style. Among them you have such magic stars as Eugene Burger, Jim Krzak, Al James, Heba Haba Al, Bert Allerton, Don Alan, and many many others.

Schuliens Restaurant, the legendary and favorite eatery of local Chicagoans and visitors from abroad was a family owned enterprise for 113 years. Matt grew up in the family business and a lifetime of fooling patrons at his saloon made Matt one of the world's finest close-up men. His goldfish trick made him famous. His gags and quick tricks are a bartender's delight. This fascinating 8 1/2 x 11 inch hardbound edition with dust-jacket is filled with photographs, illustrations, interesting historical and biographical documents and accounts and includes over fifty effects that Matt performed for his patrons.
Product Details
Edition [3d Ed.]
No. of Pages 184
Personal Details
Read It No
Location Magic Library (Home)
Condition Near Mint
Owner Bryan-Keith Taylor
The Magic of Matt Schulien by Philip Reed Willmarth, restaurant magic

Matt was famous for his card tricks he performed for his customers at his restaurant Schulien's. Magicians visiting Chicago would never fail to stop at his restaurant to see him perform Card On Wall, Card Under Tablecloth and Coin In Bottle.

He operated at two locations in Chicago over a period of 50 years. His father, Joseph Schulien, who died in 1939, passed his saloon business down to Matt.

Schulien was a large man and would use his size to good advantage as a magician to conceal cards in places on his person unimaginable to normal size magicians. Bert Allerton summed it up as "How can you beat a guy who palms cards with his stomach?"

Around 1949, he retired from the historic "1800 North Halsted" Restaurant and Bar and opened "Schulien & Sons" at 2100 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago. Matt and his wife Kate lived above the business, and Matt still greeted and entertained customers until shortly before his death in 1967. Matt's son Charlie (also known as Chuck) and his son Robert continued to entertain patrons at Schulien's until Chuck's untimely death in 1998. Shortly after, Schulien's closed its doors forever. Four generations of Schuliens had been involved in the business for well over 100 years, making it the longest-running family-owned establishment of its kind in Chicago.

THE MAGIC OF MATT SCHULIEN written by Philip Reed Willmarth. Truly a classic in Close-Up Magic, Restaurant & Bar Magic, and the History of Schulien's and its proprietor, Magician Matt Schulien (famous for his signed card underneath the tablecloth). As with most Magic Books (especially published in the 1980s and before), they often had small press runs (sometimes less than 1000) and only ONE edition (rumored edition of less than 500 on this one). As such, once a magician's work is published, that is it--there are no additional prints forthcoming. This book was originally published in 1959 when Schulien was alive (sprial-comb bound), it had it's second printing in 1976 by Magic, Inc. in Chicago (I am not sure if any subsequent printings have been done). Book measures approximately 8.5" x 11", 196 pages. Very sharp, collectible copy!

CONTENTS: Harry Blackstone Foreword: In my early days in Chicago I always found it a pleasure to be in the company of Matt Schulien and his friends. Never shall I forget the many happy hours spent in Matt's place at Halsted and 18th Street. Had I the space to recount the many enjoyable hours spent in this gentleman's company, it would appear as tho I were writing this book. Since Matt is the subject of this fi ne book, I wonder when he reads it if he will recall the "fire" gag he played on me in the early twenties? Over the radio camera a voice saying the theatre where I was playing was on fire. (Little did I know at the time that it was Matt's voice!) I was in a cab in ten seconds flat and on my way to the theatre when stopped by Matt to tell me it was a gag. I could say little more than that my association with Matt Schulien was always that of a close friend and brother in the field of magic entertainment.
This book has long been considered by most professional magicians to be the definitive work on bar and restaurant magic. Matts reoutines and lines are classics and they never fail to illicit a response of wonder and humor. Truly a marvelous book, which not only features Schulien's best effects, but also gives a historical glimpse of his restaurant and bar and all that took place there. Loaded with photos and illustrations, and this second edition features a section in the back with new and updated information, including tributes and memories about Schulien by famous magicians.

ONE: - Not the Best, but the Biggest
TWO: Basic Sleights: Matt's Fan Location - The Crimp Location - The Palm
THREE: Quick Discoveries: Cut the Cards - The Card in the Hat - Air Pressure - The Card In The Cuff - The Card in the Card Case - One Hand Discovery (One Card) - One Hand Discovery (Two Cards) - Spell It - Three Reversed - The Invisible Hair - The Slap Discovery
FOUR: Tricks With The Change: The Change - The Professional Touch - Put It Back In The Deck - The Slam and Flip Over - That's Your Card (A Sucker Trick) - Matt's Ribbon Spread Trick
FIVE: Tricks With The Force: The Face Up Spread - The Fan Force - Matt's Face Down Spread Force - The X-ray Eyes
SIX: Miscellaneous Magic and Gags: The Vanishing Deck - Testing A Half Dollar - Bending A Spoon - Bending The Arm - Twister - Matt's Match Magic - The Jumping Match - Goldfish Eating
SEVEN: Card Routines: Where Do You Want Your Card? - The Mental Fan Force Routine - Counting the Cards - Matt's Crazy Poker Deal - The Cards and the Cigarettes
EIGHT: Tricks With Gimmicks: The Pea Can - The Half In Bottle - The Fifty Sponge Ball - Matt's Color Changing Knife Routine - A Knife Gag - The Case of the Missing Handle
NINE: Smash Discoveries: The Card In the Sugar - The Corner In The Glass - The Card In The Matchbook - The Card Under The Tablecloth - Here Comes Kelly (Card In The Glass) - The Card On The Wall
TEN: The Real Secrets of Matt Schulien.

Magic Inc, Third Edition 1994, hardbound with dust jacket, 178 pages