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Catalogs

Catalogs constitute a very important record of history. It allows one to date tricks and effects, research the lineage of inventions and get a feeling of days gone by. Catalogs also inspire the imagination and exercise your magic knowledge. Reading an effect description in a catalog involuntarily makes you think about how this effect might be achieved. You start to think about methods and principles with which you could accomplish the same trick. And if you can't come up with a good answer you want to buy the trick. Wonderful!

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B. W. McCarron
The Nelson Enterprises Master Catalog Index by B. W. McCarron

Robert Nelson and his brother Larry ("Alla Rageh") started the Nelson Enterprises in 1921. This Master Index cross-references by title, catalog issue and page number every effect, book and manuscript issued by Nelson from 1927 through the last catalog in 1972. This Master Index represents a summary of:

  • 45 years of Nelson Enterprises catalog offerings.
  • 21 Nelson catalogs.
  • 5846 total items appearing in those catalogs.
  • 2476 total pages are summarized in this Master Index.
  • 1276 separate effects, books, appear in this Master Index.
  • 125 pages are in this Master Index.
  • 36 months in preparation. ...
★★★★★ $25
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Edward M. Vernelo
E. M. Vernelo Catalog 1901 by Edward M. Vernelo

Vernelo, another Chicago magic dealer, not only sold a good selection of magic tricks but also novelties, puzzles and a large selection of non-magic books. About half of this catalog is dedicated to books in all kinds of fields of interests including letter writing, public speaking, jokes, stories, bookkeeping, photography, calculations, and many more.

1st edition 1901, 192 pages.

$20
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Robert A. Nelson
Nelson Enterprises Catalog 12 by Robert A. Nelson

Robert Nelson and his brother Larry ("Alla Rageh") started the Nelson Enterprises in 1921. Their first "catalogs" were printed on thin, onion-skin paper. By 1931, their catalogs were books in their own right, this one boasting 236 different effects, books, and services catering almost exclusively to the mental, mediumistic and gambling fraternities.

Originals of this catalog are virtually impossible to find, as they jealously hoarded by mentalists, magicians and occult collectors. Now reprinted in convenient PDF ebook format, the Nelson Enterprises Catalogue 12 is once again available to...

$15
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Percy Abbott
Abbott Magic Catalog #6 1940 by Percy Abbott

If you have never looked through one of these big magic catalogs this one is a good example. Even though WWII had already started Abbott's was offering almost 2000 magic items for sale. They had pretty much everything one can think of.

1st edition 1940, 544 pages.

$15
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Frances Marshall
Magic Inc. Big Book Catalog by Frances Marshall

Books are grouped in the following categories:

  • Cards
  • Coins
  • Close-Up
  • Mental
  • Clowning, Balloons, Juggling, and Kid Shows
  • Illusions
  • Promotions
  • Biography and History
  • General

1st edition 1993; PDF 408 pages.

$15
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Frances Marshall
Magic Inc. Trick Catalog #24 by Frances Marshall

Excerpt from the introduction:

Welcome to the world of MAGIC! It is one of the oldest performing arts and yet it is as up to date as tomorrow. You have been seeing some wonderful magical spectaculars on TV, with Henning, Blackstone, Copperfield and others and you know how great magic can be. Magic is important and it can make YOU important. You can learn all about the great magicians of the past, study the art of magic so you can learn to be a performer, and meet and know the great magicians of today. New books are constantly being issued on magic and there are hundreds of them already established...

$15
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August Roterberg
Roterberg Catalog 15 by August Roterberg

August Roterberg was a very successfull magic dealer working from Chicago in the 19th century. His catalogs and books are collector items. One of his catalogs, number 15, is reproduced in this ebook. Catalogs help collectors identify and date pieces in their collection. Reading through catalogs is for me an exercise in creativity. When I read an effect description I try to think of a method to achieve it, not knowing the secret behind the trick sold. I am sure you will enjoy browsing through this beautiful catalog with lots of illustrations.

1st edition 1913, 216 pages.

$12
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Edwin Hooper
Supreme Catalog No. 39 by Edwin Hooper

I believe this is the largest magic catalog ever published. It clocks in at more than 620 pages and is bursting full with products. A unique lovely feature of this catalog is that each section is introduced by a famous magician: Mentalism by David Berglas, Ropes by Pavel, Comedy by Karrel Fox etc.

  • Introduction (Paul Daniels)
  • Accessories (Keith Churcher)
  • Balloon Modeling (Bob Wooding)
  • Books and Publications (Edwin A. Dawes)
  • Canes and Candles (Jeff Atkins)
  • Cards (Francis Haxton)
  • Changing Bags and Egg Bags (Mark Raffles)
  • Children's Magic (Terry Herbert)
  • Close-Up Magic (Bobby Bernard)
  • Comedy Magic (Karrell Fox)
  • Escapology (David De-Val) ...
$12
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Recil Bordner
Abbott Magic Catalog #15 by Recil Bordner

This catalog #15 was the first catalog issued after Percy Abbott's death. The exact date is not clear but most likely it appeared in 1962.

~1962, 488 pages.

$12
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Frances Marshall
Magic Inc. Book Catalog 2 by Frances Marshall

The "Magic Ink" line of book catalogs.

Excerpt from the introduction:

Welcome to the world of MAGIC! It is one of the oldest performing arts and yet it is as up to date as tomorrow. You have been seeing some wonderful magical spectaculars on TV, with Henning, Blackstone, Copperfield and others and you know how great magic can be.

Magic is important and it can make YOU important. You can learn all about the great magicians of the past, study the art of magic so you can learn to be a performer, and meet and know the great magicians of today. New books are constantly being issued on magic...

$12
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Frances Marshall
Magic Inc. Trick Catalog #28 by Frances Marshall

Tricks are grouped in the following categories:

  • Beginning Magic
  • Card magic
  • Money Magic
  • Close-Up Magic
  • Mentalism
  • Kids Show Magic
  • Stage Magic
  • Miscellaneous Magic
  • Prices

1st edition 1994; PDF 224 pages.

$12
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Recil Bordner
Abbott Magic Catalog #23 1987 by Recil Bordner

This catalog includes a price list.

1st edition 1987, 516 pages.

$10
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Recil Bordner
Abbott Magic Catalog #25 1997 by Recil Bordner

A huge catalog including index and price list.

1st edition 1997, 525 pages.

$10
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Arthur P. Felsman
Felsman Catalog No. 17 by Arthur P. Felsman

Arthur P. Felsman took over August Roterberg's business. His catalog looks very similar to the Roterberg catalog with beautiful illustrations and detailed product descriptions. Compare for example with Roterberg Catalog No. 15.

1st edition 1919, 189 pages.

$10
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Edwin Hooper
Supreme Catalog No. 4 Part 1 (1966) by Edwin Hooper

A long list of unbelievable variety, depth and breadth of magic tricks, illusions, apparatus, accessories and more. So much in fact that this catalog required three parts.

1st edition 1966, 432 pages.

$10
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Greg Bordner
Abbott Magic Catalog #26 2004 by Greg Bordner

The latest big catalog from Abbott Magic.

1st edition 2004, 472 pages.

$10
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Edwin Hooper
Supreme Catalog No. 38 by Edwin Hooper

This catalog has four color plates in the middle and a price list at the very end.

  • Accessories
  • Canes and Candles
  • Cards
  • Changing Bags and Egg Bags
  • Children's Magic
  • Close-Up Magic
  • Comedy Magic
  • Escapology
  • Flowers and Plumes
  • General Magic
  • Illusionettes
  • Liquid Magic
  • Livestock Magic
  • Manipulation
  • Mentalism
  • Money Magic
  • Production Items
  • Puppets and Ventriloquial Characters
  • Rope Magic
  • Silks and Ribbons

1st edition 1989, 613 pages.

$10
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Floyd Gerald Thayer
Thayer Catalog #8 by Floyd Gerald Thayer

This is a beautiful catalog with an introduction that includes photos of Thayer's residence. This catalog was published in 1936 and as the title page correctly states: "The Finest, Largest, And Most Comprehensive Compilation of Magical Goods Ever Published."

1st edition 1936; 311 pages.

$10
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August Roterberg
Roterberg Catalog 1 by August Roterberg

This is the first catalog Roterberg issued, titled: "Descriptive Catalogue of the Latest European Novelties in Magic, Second Sight, Anti-Spiritualism".

Noteworthy here is that Roterberg states that he corresponds not only in English but also German, French and Volapük - a universal language created by the German catholic priest Johann Martin Schleyer in 1880.

1st edition ca. 1894, 20 pages.

$10
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August Roterberg
Roterberg Catalog 5 by August Roterberg

The title page reads: "Superior, New and Standard Conjuring Tricks, Spiritualistic Manifestations and Books on Conjuring."

Particularly noteworthy are the pages in the back where he reprints quotes and praises from customers who have read his books including John Northern Hilliard and Harry Kellar.

1st edition ca. 1898, 76 pages.

$10
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August Roterberg
Roterberg Catalog 7 by August Roterberg

Beautifully illustrated catalog (prior catalogs had no illustrations) with a one page list of books at the back.

1st edition 1904 (date stamped on front 18th March 1904), 45 pages.

$10
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August Roterberg
Roterberg Catalog 8 by August Roterberg

A huge jump in size from catalog 7 to this catalog 8. Includes a separate section on books where he writes about Expert at the Card Table:

Without doubt the very best and most up-to-date treatise on the numerous sleights used by gamblers, concluding with a thoroughly interesting chapter on Card Sleights and Tricks with Cards. Among the various new gambler’s sleights will be found many which will prove of excellent service to the progressive conjurer. 205 pages; 101 illustrations.

The last section is for: Practical Jokes, Puzzles and Novelties.

1st edition 1904 (date stamped on front 15th July 1904), 170...

$10
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Percy Abbott
Abbott Magic Catalog #9 1947 by Percy Abbott

More than 800 pages of tricks, books, illusions, and other magic products.

1st edition 1947, 832 pages.

★★★★★ $10
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Recil Bordner
Abbott Magic Catalog #20 1972 by Recil Bordner

Includes a historical sketch about Abbott Magic, how it came to be, and why it was started in Colon, MI.

1st edition 1972, 464 pages.

$10
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Recil Bordner
Abbott Magic Catalog #22 by Recil Bordner

The catalog gives a date of 1976, but that is the same date as #21, which means they probably forgot to change it. Most likely this catalog was published in the early 1980s. The latest date mentioned anywhere in the catalog is 1981. My best guess therefore is that this catalog was released in 1981 or 1982.

1st edition 198?, 448 pages.

$10
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Recil Bordner
Abbott Magic Catalog #16 1964 by Recil Bordner

Magic products are being offered in the following categories:

  • Accessories
  • Advertising Section
  • Ball Magic
  • Bird Cages
  • Block Tricks
  • Bottle Tricks
  • Candle Tricks
  • Canes
  • Card Magic
  • Change Bags
  • Cigarette Tricks
  • Close-Up and Pocket Tricks
  • Coin and Money Magic
  • Comedy Effects
  • Cups and Balls
  • Dice
  • Egg
  • Escapes
  • Flower Magic
  • Trick Glasses
  • Illusions
  • Kid-Show Magic
  • Light Bulbs
  • Linking Rings
  • Liquid Magic
  • Water Lotas
  • Milk Tricks
  • Tricks with Livestock
  • Mental magic
  • Paper Magic
  • Production Magic
  • Rice Bowls
  • Rope Tricks
  • Silk Magic
  • Spook and Spirit Material
  • Modern Tables
  • Thimbles ...
$10
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Percy Abbott
Abbott Magic Catalog #13 1952 by Percy Abbott

In this catalog Eddie Joseph and all his publications and separately sold tricks received a separate section. Abbott is also operating their own printing presses and advertises to print business cards, letterheads, handbills and show cards for magicians. A price list is included at the very end.

  • Accessories
  • Balls
  • Bottles
  • Cages
  • Canes
  • Cards
  • Change Bags
  • Cigarettes
  • Club
  • Comedy
  • Dice
  • Eggs
  • Escapes
  • Fish
  • Flowers
  • Glasses
  • Illusions
  • Joseph
  • Light Bulbs
  • Linking Rings
  • Liquid
  • Livestock
  • Lotas
  • Mental
  • Milk
  • Money
  • Novelties
  • Paper
  • Parasols
  • Pocket
  • Printing
  • Reels
  • Rice Bowls
  • Rising...
$10
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William Henry James Shaw
W. H. J. Shaw Catalog 1893 by William Henry James Shaw

A Chicago dealer who did manufacture his own apparatus.

1st edition 1893, 24 pages.

$10
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Inez Vernelo
M. Inez Catalog 1904 by Inez Vernelo

This catalog describes mostly magic tricks, some magic books and a list of acting plays. Madame Inez, or just M. Inez, was married to E. M. Vernelo and she was very involved in the early years of The Sphinx mostly as editor.

1st edition 1904, 76 pages.

$10
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Sigmund Klingl
Zauber-Klingl Katalog (1926) by Sigmund Klingl

Die Zauber-Klingl war das beste Zaubergeschäft der Vergangenheit in Österreich. Es befand sich auf einem sehr guten Platz in der Wiener Innenstadt, gleich hinter der Staatsoper, in der Führichgasse Nr. 4, einer Seitenstrasse zur Kärtner Strasse der bedeutensten Einkaufsstrasse in Wien.

Sigmund Klingl war in erster Linie ein Hersteller von Zaubertricks und Zauberapparaten. Er stellte nicht nur zahlreiche Apparate und Illusionen für den allgemeinen Verkauf her, sondern machte auch Spezialanfertigungen für die Superstars der damaligen Zauberszene.

Der vorliegende Katalog von den 20er...

$10
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Edwin C. Hood
H. C. Evans Catalog 1929 by Edwin C. Hood

In 1929 H. C. Evans was a large company specializing in the manufacture and sale of sporting goods and casino equipment.

  • Casino supplies
  • Trade Stimulators
  • Pocket Novelties
  • Amusement Park Supplies
  • Fair Ground Games
  • Shooting Galleries

1st edition 1929, 160 pages.

$10
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KC Card Co
Blue Book 1961 by KC Card Co

KC Card Company specialized in legit and crooked gambling supplies.

  • Dice and measuring tools to make sure they were properly manufactured.
  • Game layouts
  • Marked cards
  • Crooked dealing boxes
  • Holdouts
  • Books on gambling
  • and more

1st edition 1961, 77 pages.

$10
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Percy Abbott
Abbott Magic Catalog #14 by Percy Abbott

This catalog #14 is for whatever reason less common than the other Abbott catalogs. It included a tipped in sheet advertising six Robert Orben books.

86 pages.

$10
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Martin Breese
Martin Breese Catalog by Martin Breese

This is a very nice catalog designed by David Britland and additional illustrations by Max Maven, Eric Mason and JAT. Products are grouped in the following sections:

  • Tricks
  • Miscellaneous
  • Audio Tapes
  • Video Tapes
  • Books

1st edition 1984; PDF 87 pages.

$10
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August Roterberg
1911 Supplementary Catalogue of New Tricks by August Roterberg

From the introduction:

The splendid array of tricks offered in the following pages is the result of a most careful selection from several hundred new ideas. Of these new tricks, I have embodied in this catalogue only those which I consider to be the very best, this being practically the first time that the majority of these tricks have been offered for sale. All descriptive matter is original with me and the illustrations have been made from my own ideas, under my personal supervision, great care having been taken to neither exaggerate nor misrepresent the effects in either the reading matter...

$10
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H. C. Evans
The Original Blue Book 1949 by H. C. Evans

From the back cover:

This, our latest SECRET BLUE BOOK with many features added, is the most complete catalog of the kind ever produced. The SECRET BLUE BOOK is but one of THREE CATALOGS of our complete line which covers the entire Indoor and Outdoor Amusement Field, supplying adult games of every description.

In the SECRET BLUE BOOK we list and describe a complete line of Dice, Cards, Trade Stimulators and Counter Games, Table Games suitable for use at public gatherings, Adult Games for the home or private play and Various SPECIAL Games.

Our CLUB AND CASINO EQUIPMENT Catalog, printed...

$10
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Otto Maurer
Illustrated Descriptive Price List of Magical Apparatus and Illusions by Otto Maurer

Otto Maurer had his shop in New York. He started as tin smith but soon made and fixed apparatus for magicians. His shop was for many years a gathering place for prominent magicians who came to town including Houdini, Thurston, and Downs. They all visited Maurer, bought from him, and exchanged the latest gossip and news. The most famous story about Otto Maurer is how he became the conduit for communicating the back palm from a Mexican/Cuban/Spanish cardshark to the magic community at large. (The originator of the back palm was Dr. Elliott.)

  • Advice For Professionals & Amateurs
  • No. 1 - Magic Nail
  • No. 2 - Devil's Bottle ...
$10
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Max Holden
Max Holden Recommends by Max Holden

This was the catalog for Max Holden's Magic Shop. He had two stores, one in New York City, and one in Boston. He specialized in books. The 8 issues run from 1948 to 1951.

PDF 36 pages.

$10
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Martin Breese
Martin Breese Catalog 1 by Martin Breese

This is the first catalog Martin Breese issued most likely in 1975. He had not yet begun to create and publish his own products. We therefore find in this catalog only products from other manufacturers, such as Ken Brooke, Johnson Products, Sterling Magic Creations, and others.

1st edition 1975, PDF 57 pages.

$10
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August Roterberg
Catalogue of New Card Miracles by August Roterberg

From the introduction:

The clever creations in the following pages are the result of the great demand for card tricks which has swept the magical world. A few years ago practically all card tricks depended upon skill in sleight of hand. There were few, if any, real good tricks which the inexperienced could successfully perform without previous practice. The sudden demand of tricks for this nature has resulted in the invention of many clever and puzzling effects by some of the masterminds of the Magical Profession.

In the following pages are offered, for the first time, a collection...

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Max Holden
Holden's Catalog No. 17 (1955) by Max Holden

Max and Tess Holden established their magic mail-order business in 1929. Through the years, the business grew to three locations (Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City). The Max Holden catalog grew to hundreds of pages, offering merchandise from their own line of magic and books, as well as those of prominent manufacturers such as Petrie-Lewis, Thayer, and many others.

Arranged by subject, the effects include spirit effects, close-up magic, mentalism, livestock effects, books, blueprints, tricks with cards, money, cigarettes, liquids, candles, silks, slates, thimbles, and many others. ...

$10
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Frances Marshall
Magic Inc. Book Catalog 1 by Frances Marshall

Magic Inc. always emphasized books in their offering. They published a lot of books themselves, imported books from foreign countries, and carried a large selection of publications related to magic. This of course was driven by Jay Marshall's passion for books.

1st edition ~1982; PDF 165 pages.

$10
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