Our Mysteries
Baker, Al; Benson, Roy; Flosso, Al; Harbin, Robert; Hartz, Leo
Sphinx Publishing Corporation (1941)
In Collection
Magic tricks
USA  eng
Baker, Al: Our Mysteries
©1941 Sphinx Publishing Corporation
Illustrated by Harlan Tarbell
Hardcover, 63 pages

Abebooks price range 40.00 - 50.00

Comments: A collection of routines by some very famous magicians, one each. Includes effects by Al Baker, Roy Benson, Al Flosso, Robert Harbin, Leo Hartz (Horowitz), "Think-a-Drink" Hoffman, Eugene Laurant, Magini, Miaco, Russell Swann.

Al Baker lived from 1874-1951.

Contents: (numbers are not page numbers)

1 Table of Contents
2 Introduction: by John Mulholland
3 The Finger Knows - And Tells (Al Baker): magician determines which of 5 cards were thought of using a physiological secret
4 The Glass Trick (Roy Benson): a handkerchief vanishes from a glass
5 Seven Coins (Al Flosso): three coins in one hand, four in the other; suddenly there are all seven coins in one hand!
6 The Pierced Cards (Robert Harbin): two selections become threaded on a ribbon
7 Duo Flight (S. Leo Horowitz): two blue cards join a red deck that was sealed in an envelope
8 Beer and Milk ("Think-a-Drink" Hoffman): a picture of a keg produces beer, the picture is converted into a cow, and now spurts of milk are produced.
9 The Nest of Boxes (Eugene Laurant): several rings are borrowed from the audience, pounded into metal, shot toward a box, and all the rings are found tied to a ribbon in the box
10 Fishbowl Production (Magini): for stage
11 Production of Two Pigeons (Miaco): for stage
12 The Card in the Banana (Russel Swann): selected card is found in a banana; with a clever way to steal the card
13 Biographical Notes: of each featured performer

Product Details
No. of Pages 63
Personal Details
Read It No
Location Magic Library (Home) Shelf B
Condition Very Fine
Owner Bryan-Keith Taylor
OUR MYSTERIES by Al Baker, Roy Benson, Al Flosso, Robert Harbin, Leo Hartz, 'Think a Drink' Hoffman, Eugene Laurant, Miaco Magini, Russel Swan, illustrated by Harlan Tarbell. Published by Sphinx Publishing Corporation, New York City, 1941. Book is hardback, with a dust jacket, 63 pages, illustrated. Very good condition, please see photo.
Contents include an amazing mental card trick by Al Baker, coin work by Al Flosso, a fishbowl production by Magini, and much more. This book would make a sterling addition to any magician's library.

Another fine volume from the personal library of magician and bibliophile, Jay Marshall.


Legendary magician and magical inventor. He began his career in a medicine show, then later became renowned for his clever routines and ingenious magic ideas, especially in the area of mentalism. Inventor of the Al Baker Slates. Many of his silk magic effects are included in Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic.

Roy Benson
(Jan 17, 1914 - Dec 6, 1977)

was born Edward Emerson Ford McQuaid in Courbevoie, France. His mother was Dora Ford of the Four Fords and The Ford Sisters of Vaudeville fame. His father was Edward Emerson McQuaid of Vaudeville's Juggling team, Emerson and Baldwin.
Roy was a proficient musician, a professor. He was both a close-up magician and magical stage comedian. He built the monster for the movie "The Flesh Eaters" in 1964, directed by his cousin Jack Curtis.
Roy was a student of Nate Leipzig. He originated the long pour finish for the salt trick and well known for his creation of the ball and bowl routine.
Roy made many contributions to the Phoenix magazine.
He struggled with alcoholism and eventually died of emphysema.
Roy performing many routines, including his salt pour, on TV in 1955.

Al Flosso
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Flosso's souvenir advertising card. Collection Chadbourne Thaumaturgium.American magician and entertainer. Born Albert Levinson in Brooklyn (or perhaps on New York City's lower east side) in 1895.
Died in in New York City, 1976.
His stage name was taken from a vernacular name for cotton-candy "floss"

Harbin, Robert
(1909 - 1978 )
Robert Harbin (born Edward "Ned" Williams in South Africa), magician, developed illusions of his own such as the "Neon Light Illusion" and is generally regarded as the man who made the transition from the great illusionists of the past to the modern magicians we know today. He was the first person to make a success of magic on TV in Britain starting in 1940 when he was able for the first time to bring magic to people's homes and entertain huge audiences, establishing his name as one of the pioneers of television magic. He was particularly remembered on TV for his presentations of paper folding (origami) items.
Invented: The Vanishing Radio, Four of a Kind, Topsy-Turvey, Zig-Zag (1965), Fade Away, Aztec Lady.

(1836 -1903 )
Joseph Michael Hartz was born on the 10th of August 1836, at Liverpool, where his father, who was of Dutch descent, carried on business as a watchmaker under the name of Hart, the original family name having been anglicised by the dropping of the final “ z ” . When Hartz was about twelve years old, he saw one of Robert-Houdin's performances, convincing him to become a magician. In 1859, he performed professionally at the Adelaide Gallery in London under the name of Hartz with an act consisting of apparatus made entirely of glass, or as he called it, crystal. In 1867, Hartz and his younger brother, Augustus (Gus), traveled to New York where in 1870 they established the first magic shop in America, the Hartz Magic Repository located on Broadway. In 1887, Hartz transformed a popular trick of the day, The Inexhaustible Hat, into his own version called "Devil of a Hat." Many of Hartz's contributions are as an originator, rather than as an inventor. He improved upon many standard tricks of his day and was considered by many of his peers to be a "magician's magician.".
Also invented: The Inexhaustible Handkerchief, The Improved Money Column, a Production Bird Cage, Dematerialised Glass of Water, The Automatic Rising Cards, The Hartz Hook, The Floating Head, Crystal Pillar and Glove, Aerial Bell
Wrote: Hartz's New Book of Magic (1866)
There is a biography of Hartz included in Hoffmann's "Magical Tidbits" and sometimes included with 1911 publications of Hoffmann's "Later Day Magic." Additional material is from The Linking Ring (June 1927, Vol. VI, No. 4); The Linking Ring (May 1931, Vol. XI, No. 3); The Linking Ring (June 1997).
Special thanks to Mark Damon for his Linking Ring research and contribuitions to this article.