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Magicians' Tricks
by Henry Hatton & Adrian Plate


(1 review, 3 customer ratings) ★★★★★

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Magicians' Tricks by Henry Hatton & Adrian Plate

This book was rated one of the ten basic books for a working library of conjuring by H. Adrian Smith, historian, collector and owner of the largest private magic library in his time. It is a magnificent book featuring tricks from Germain, Conradi, Goldston, Okito, Elliott, and others. It is very difficult to get a hardcopy these days. Other books in this top 10 list are

Paul Fleming wrote:

In 1910, Henry Hatton, a well-known writer on magic, and Adrian Plate, an equally well-known performer, collaborated in writing Magicians' Tricks: How They Are Done. The book promptly took its place as a standard work on the subject, and could be found in the library of every up-to-date magician of that time. It is just as deserving of study today; and we are writing the present review to remind magicians of the younger generation that they will benefit by getting acquainted with this excellent but sometimes overlooked treatise.

Magicians' Tricks is a general work, covering various branches of the art of magic. Since Mr. Plate was an unusually skillful performer with cards, it is not surprising that one of the longest chapters in the book (Chapter 1, 125 pages) should deal with card magic. There are in this chapter, to start with, some 25 pages of sleights with cards, to which are later added explanations of other card sleights in connection with specific tricks. The "color-change" with cards gets a good deal of attention; so, also, do The Rising Cards (18 pages, describing the methods of Thurston, Hilliard, Hartz, de Kolta, Dr. Elliott, and others), The Cards from Pocket to Pocket (7 pages, explaining two methods, and including some common-sense patter), and A Mathematical Problem (a startling "mind reading" feat with cards); and many other card tricks are set forth in less detail. Chapter 2 (27 pages) teaches the basic sleights with coins; describes The Miser's Dream as performed by Carl Herrmann, "who introduced it into this country in 1861, and has never been surpassed in the performance of it"; explains a number of other complete coin tricks; and concludes with a 5-page explanation of a good combination trick, entitled A Coin, a Card, and a Candle. Chapter 3 (21 pages), with balls and eggs, has as its features The Patriotic Billiard Balls, in which three red, three white, and three blue balls are placed in three derby hats, so that each hat contains balls of one color only - but each of the hats is finally shown to hold a combination of red, white, and blue balls; The Egg Ching Chang (or Kling Klang) of Colonel Stodare; and The Spherical Paradox of the famous Robert Heller, a charming feat with glass balls to which the authors give 7 pages of explanation.

Chapter 4 consists of 22 pages of handkerchief tricks, the best of which are The Transit of Old Glory (a variation of The Twentieth Century Handkerchief Trick), and a combination handkerchief-and-candle trick that is explained with 7 pages of text and 6 drawings. Chapter 5 is a short (10-page) section on after-dinner tricks, of which The Lemon and Bank Note alone deserves special mention. In the final chapter (Chapter 6, 127 pages) 37 tricks are explained. Here are some of the best things in the whole book. The Disappearance of a Glass of Water, by Okito (Theo Bamberg); The Rice Bowls, with improvements by Conradi; The Spirit Table, by Karl Germain; The Nest of Boxes (10 pages), made famous by Harry Kellar and presented more recently by Dante; The Kellar Rope Tie; The Ten Ichi Thumb Tie; Kellar's Cube Root Trick; Wine and Water; Blackboard "Mind Reading" Tests; and The Egyptian Water Jars, by Germain, are among the feats explained here that have made magical history.

Magicians' Tricks is a book of 344 pages. It is unusually well written, and is illustrated with 192 line drawings. It is printed on good paper, and is attractively bound in a decorative cloth cover. It is a book that can be read with pleasure and profit by every magician.

1st edition, 1910, The Century Co., New York; later printing, 1917, The Century Co., New York; 344 pages.

  1. The Pass
  2. The Clip
  3. The "Diagonal" or "Dovetail" Pass
  4. The Card Palm
  5. The Bottom Palm
  6. The Change
  7. The Top Change
  8. The Bottom Change
  9. A New Top Change
  10. A Single Change
  11. False Shuffles
  12. To Leave a Prearranged Pack Undisturbed While Seeming to Shuffle It Thoroughly
  13. Another Method of Shuffling a Pack Without Changing Its Order
  14. To Shuffle the Pack so as Not to Disturb the Position of the Top or the Bottom Card or of Both Cards
  15. To Force a Card
  16. The Second Deal
  17. The False Count
  18. The "Ruffle"
  19. To Spring the Cards From One Hand to the Other
  20. The Slide
  21. The Forcing Die
  22. The Prearranged Pack
  23. The Color Change
  24. To Make a Card Disappear From a Glass
  25. The Transformation of the Jack of Clubs
  26. The Prediction
  27. To Discover a Card Drawn From the Pack
  28. A Flying Card
  29. A Greek Cross
  30. A Selected Card Appears at Any Desired Number From the Top of the Pack
  31. A Card Apparently Placed at the Bottom of the Pack, Appears at the Top
  32. A Question of Sympathy
  33. The Card in the Pocketbook
  34. The Disappearing Queen
  35. The Changing Card
  36. A Wonderful Change
  37. With a String - A Reminiscence
  38. The Obedient Cards
  39. The Rising Cards in a Case
  40. The Rising Cards, as Exhibited by Buatier de Kolta
  41. One More Version of the Rising Cards
  42. The Seven Heap
  43. The Sympathetic Kings and Queens
  44. Correcting a Mistake
  45. Thought Anticipated
  46. The Spots on a Freely Selected Card Will Indicate the Number of Cards Secretly Removed From the Pack
  47. The Ace of Diamonds Changes to a Trey
  48. The Four Aces
  49. From Pocket to Pocket
  50. The Vanishing Card
  51. The Cards in the Envelopes
  52. A Missing Card Found
  53. A Feat of Divination
  54. To Tell in succession all the Cards in a Shuffled Pack
  55. To Call Out the Names of the Cards While the Pack is Behind the Back
  56. Another Method of Discovering Every Card in a Shuffled Pack
  57. To Call Out Cards While the Pack, With the Faces of the Cards Toward the Audience, is Pressed Against the Forehead
  58. The Choice of a Card
  59. The Reversed Cards
  60. A Subtile Touch
  61. The Sense of Touch
  62. A Mathematical Problem
  63. The Reunion
  64. Dr. Elliot's Variation in the Rising Cards
  65. To Tear a Pack of Cards in Two
  66. Palming
  67. The Miser
  68. The Peripatetic Coins
  69. The Walking Coin
  70. The Wandering Coins
  71. The Disappearing Coin
  72. How Money Attracts
  73. To Pass Five Coins From One Tumbler to Another
  74. The Penetrating Coin
  75. A Coin and a String
  76. To Pass a Coin Through a Hat
  77. A Coin, a Card, and a Candle
  78. To Pass an Egg From a Tumbler Into a Hat
  79. To Pass a Billiard Ball From One Goblet to Another
  80. The Changing Ball and Flag
  81. Novel Effect with Billiard Balls
  82. The Changing Billiard Balls
  83. The Patriotic Billiard Balls
  84. A Sperical Paradox, Not so Clear as it Seems
  85. To Make a Handkerchief Disappear From the Hands
  86. The Stretched Handkerchief
  87. The Handkerchief with Seven Corners
  88. The Mysterious Knots
  89. The Transit of Old Glory
  90. A Succession of Surprises by Le Professeur Magicus (Adolphe Blind)
  91. The Three Handkerchiefs
  92. A Silk Handkerchief Placed in a Cornucopia Disappears, and is Found Tied Around a Candle
  93. An Adhesive Nut
  94. An Elusive Ring
  95. A Borrowed Bank Note that is Destroyed by Tearing or Burning is Found Imbedded in a Lemon
  96. A Disappearing Knife
  97. A Match Trick
  98. The Moving Ears
  99. The Talking Glass
  100. The Suspended Glass
  101. The Tilting Goblet
  102. A Broken Match
  103. Paper Tearing
  104. The Torn and Restored Strip of Paper
  105. The Cigarette-Paper Trick
  106. A Japanese Trick
  107. The Disappearance of a Glass of Water, by Okito (Theo. Bamberg)
  108. A Temperance Trick
  109. The Chinese Rice Bowls (With Variations by Conradi)
  110. Firing a Girl From a Cannon Into a Trunk
  111. A Fruitful Experiment
  112. Something From Nothing
  113. The Adhesive Dice
  114. The Antispiritualistic Cigarette Papers
  115. The Spirit table (by Germain)
  116. The Needle Trick (by Clement de Lion)
  117. The Vanishing Glass of Water
  118. Phantasma (by FĂ©licien Trewey)
  119. A Traveling Wand
  120. A Mysterious Flight
  121. The New Die and Hat Trick (by Will Goldston, London)
  122. A Girl Produced From Empty Boxes (by Will Goldston)
  123. The Nest of Boxes
  124. A Floral Tribute
  125. A Curious Omelet
  126. The Coffee Trick
  127. The Growth of Flowers
  128. The Secret of Rope Tying
  129. A Knotty Problem
  130. The Knot of Mystery
  131. The Afghan Bands
  132. Mnemonics as Applied to Conjuring
  133. Memorizing at One Reading a Long List of Words Suggested by the Audience
  134. Kellar's Cube Root Trick
  135. With Apologies to the Audience
  136. The Clock
  137. Wine or Water
  138. The Blackboard Test
  139. A Water Trick
  140. Appendix

word count: 87321 which is equivalent to 349 standard pages of text

Reviewed by Christopher Reynolds (confirmed purchase)
★★★★★   Date Added: Wednesday 21 June, 2023

If you want to learn about classic magic tricks and their execution, "Magicians Tricks and How They Are Done" is an excellent book to explore. In 1910, Hatton and Plate, two skilled magicians, wrote a book that provided solutions to previously unsolvable illusions. Their book, Magicians' Tricks, is a classic in the world of magic, and it is essential for both amateur and professional magicians today.

This how-to manual is a must-have whether you are new to magic or have experience. It teaches you to perform 140 tricks using everyday items such as cards, coins, balls, eggs, and handkerchiefs. The manual also includes 194 black-and-white illustrations to guide you through the process.

This book has a detailed section on card magic that covers a wide range of techniques such as passes, palms, forces, changes, false shuffles, a second deal, and various effects like Making a Card Disappear from a Glass and Tearing a Pack of Cards in Two.

Aspiring magicians can learn how to perform tricks using coins like the Penetrating Coin, Passing a Coin Through a Hat, and The Disappearing Coin.

They'll also learn how to create unique effects with billiard balls, make handkerchiefs disappear, tear and restore paper strips, produce something from nothing, and more.

Many tricks come with suggested stage "patter" to engage or distract the audience.

This book is an excellent guide if you're interested in learning magic. Its well-drawn illustrations clarify movements, detailing finger and hand positions. The instructions for each trick are easy to follow and understand, and the author's years of experience and practice make them reliable, making it a complete resource for individuals interested in the art of magic.

About the authors:

Adrian Plate, born in Utrecht, Holland, on June 10, 1844, served as an officer in the Dutch army before moving to New York in 1877. For over 35 years, he worked as an accountant for a railroad company while pursuing his passion for magic as a famous society magician. Plate was particularly adept at card manipulation, mentalism, and memory feats.

Dr. Ellison, a renowned magic collector, amateur magician, and magic journalist John Northern Hilliard acknowledged Plate's sleight of hand card work as unparalleled and superior to any they had ever witnessed.

In 1902, he became one of the first members of the Society of American Magicians (S.A.M. # 25).

Plate was passionate about collecting books on magic and the occult, and his collection included rare English translations of necromancy. His apartment in Upper New York was a popular destination for visiting magicians. In addition to the extensive book collection, he kept scrapbooks filled with pictures and handbills of past magicians.

After Adrian Plate passed away, Harry Houdini obtained his vast library, currently housed at the Library of Congress.

In August Roterberg's book, "New Era Card Tricks," Plate's unique sleight, the Excelsior exchange, was featured. He also co-wrote a book called "Magicians Tricks and How They Are Done" with Henry Hatton, considered one of the top ten books on magic by historian and collector H. Adrian Smith.

On February 24, 1919, he passed away at 74.

Henry Hatton was a magician and writer who taught himself everything he knew. He was born Patrick Henry Cannon in New York City on December 16, 1837, but later changed his name to Henry Hatton. After being inspired by seeing the great John Henry Anderson, he became a professional touring magician in 1867. Henry also wrote a series called "Lessons in Magic" for the children's magazine "Our Young Folks" from 1865 to 1867.

He joined S.A.M. in 1902 as Member #21 and later became the President of S.A.M. from 1912 to 1914.

Hatton coauthored the book "Magicians' Tricks" in 1910 with Adrian Plate. This book is considered a classic in the field of magic and was even referred to as the "first American general textbook" by Henry Hay (also known as Barrows Mussey).

On December 24, 1922, at 85, he passed away on Christmas Eve.