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Games of Skill and Conjuring by unknown

Instructions for games, magic tricks, model building, giving shows, and more.

  • Games Of Skill
    • Draughts
      • Laws Of The Game
      • Games For Practice
      • Concluding Observations
    • Dominoes
    • Chess
      • The Chess-Board And Chessmen
      • Value And Moves Of The Pieces
      • Laws Of Chess
      • Technical Terms Used In Chess
      • Opening The Game
      • Games For Practice
      • General Observations
      • Conclusion
    • Morrice
    • Fox And Geese
  • Conjuring
    • Legerdemain And Simple Deceptions
    • To Lift A Bottle With A Straw
    • The Tobacco Pipe Jug Stand
    • To Break A Stick Placed On Two Glasses
    • The Bottle Conjuror
    • The Mysterious Wafers
    • Advantageous...
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Houdini Takes Magic Secrets to His Grave by unknown

This is the article that ran in The Sun on November 1st, 1926 after Harry Houdini's untimely passing.

  • Friend of Ingersoll
  • Body Coming Here
  • Born in Wisconsin
  • Tricks of Every Kind
  • Mediums Interest Him
  • Investigated 'Margery'
  • Deny Injury in Montreal

1st edition November 1st, 1926, PDF 5 pages.

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Delphos Kleeblatt Conjuring Articles 1892 - 1904 by unknown

The Delphos Kleeblatt, a German newspaper, was established by Carl Jettinger in December 1889 on a suggestion by Edward Gallaway. It ran until 1905. Gallaway approached Jettinger with the idea, having just returned to Delphos from a stint as a typesetter at a German newspaper in Indiana, and convinced him to partner with him in this newspaper startup. However, before the newspaper was launched Gallaway changed his mind, left Delphos, moved to Ft. Payne in Alabama and started there the Payne Weekly People. Carl Jettinger, a bit miffed by first being convinced of the great idea, and then Edward bailing out...

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Card Cheating Exposed by unknown

A complete revelation of the cheaters' work at Bridge, Nap, Solo, Bluff, Banker, Baccarat, Faro, etc.

Published by Coe & Co. A rare booklet offered at the first 2023 Ricky Jay auction with an estimated price of $500-$800. Excerpt from the introduction:

In introducing this little book to the public it is my intention and desire to expose the multiplicity of ways by which cheating at cards is accomplished. The average honest player is little suspicious of the enormous amount of cheating that is done, but what would astonish him still more would be to learn the simple tricks used by even the...

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Scientific Mysteries by unknown

A collection of simple and effective experiments illustrating chemical, physical, and optical wonders.

Published by the Offices of the Chemist and Druggist. 42 Cannon Street, London.

    • 'The Four Elements'
    • Collecting Gases
    • Oxygen
    • Nitrogen
    • Hydrogen
    • Experiments With Hydrogen
    • Composition Of Water
    • Making Gas From A Bottle
    • A Model Gas Manufactory
    • Inextinguishable Flame
    • Gas Balloons
    • Musical Flame
    • Musical Tubes
    • Carbonic Acid Gas
    • Carbonic Acid Gas From The Lungs
    • Combustion And Respiration
    • Decantation Of Gases
    • Weighing...
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Card and Conjuring Tricks and Book of Riddles by unknown
    • The Certain Guesser
    • The Disappearing coin
    • Money Makes Money
    • A Good Variation
    • The Magic Coin Box
    • Catching the Falling Pile
    • The Flexible Watch
    • Coin and Bottle Trick
    • Needle Dart
    • The Magic Double Ring
    • The Magic Ribbon
    • The Burnt Handkerchief
    • The Vanishing Ball
    • The Wand and Ring Trick
    • Swallowing the Knife
    • The Vanishing Coin
    • Telling a Selected Card
    • A Wonderful Discovery
    • The Twenty-one Card Trick
    • Naming all the Cards in the Pack
    • Forcing the Choice
    • The Chosen Card
    • Divination
    • Further Divination
    • The Seven Heap
    • Spelling the Cards
    • Changing...
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The New Conjuror's Museum and Magical Magazine by unknown

For magicians most interesting is a section with arithmetic tricks and another with legerdemain featuring effects such as letting a pen-knife jump out of a goblet, some card tricks, coin tricks, and chemical tricks.

  • Of Astrological Influence
  • Lives Of The Most Eminent Magicians, Astrologers, Conjurers, &c.
  • On The Interpretation Of Dreams
  • Apparitions, Witchcraft, &c.
  • Philolosphical And Ingenious Amusements
    • A person having fixed on a number in his mind, to tell him what number it is
    • Another method of discovering a number thought on
    • A quantity of eggs being broken, to find how many there...
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The Magic Oracle or Conjuror's Guide by unknown

This work reveals a mix of card tricks and other small magic effects, science tricks, and in particular chemical stunts and experiments. It also covers the making of fireworks in some depth including how to make an artificial volcano.

Interesting was that even in 1850 it was clear that experimenting with mercury (quicksilver) was risky as the following quote from the book shows:

Feats performed through the medium of quicksilver should be executed with the greatest caution, as there is some danger attending them.

(Obviously, nobody should be casually experimenting with mercury. It is...

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After Dinner Tricks and Puzzles with your Seal Brand Coffee by unknown

A nicely produced collection of mostly puzzles, brainteasers, and some which could be performed as magic tricks. In total there are 36 problems. Solutions are provided for all of them.

1st edition 1896, 12 pages of problems, 2 pages of answers.

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Bunte Streichholz Etiketten (gebraucht) by unknown

Große Hochglanzbroschüre mit vielen Streichholz Etiketten Reproduktionen. Herausgeber Druckfarbenfabriken Gebr. Schmidt GmbH.

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The Real New London Conjuror or the Art of Legerdemain by unknown

Showing the various ways of performing tricks by sleight-of-hand on dice, cards, etc., together with many surprising deceptions.

  • To change a Box of Bird Seed into a living Bird
  • To thrust a Bodkin into your Forehead without any hurt
  • Breslaw's grand Deception of the little learned Swan
  • The mode of shewing the Hen and Egg Bag, and out of an empty Bag to bring upwards of an Hundred Eggs, and afterwards a live Hen
  • How to seem to change a Card into a King or Queen
  • Card burnt, and afterwards found in a Watch
  • A curious trick played with a Fowl
  • How to eat Fire, and blow it up in your Mouth...
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Scientific Betting (used) by unknown

Softcover book in decent condition. For details on the contents see the digital edition.

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Revelations of a Spirit Medium by unknown

Spiritualistic mysteries exposed by a medium. A detailed explanation of the methods used by fraudulent mediums.

From the preface:

The author of this book does not consider it a "literary gem," by any means, but claims that it accomplishes the object for which it was written, viz.: gives the reader an expose of the methods pursued by the "spiritual medium" in the various deceptions they practice in their "circles," "sittings," and "seances," which does expose. The author has been a working "medium" for the past twenty years, and is not guessing or theorizing in what he has written. He will...

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Perfecto One-Man Psychic Act by unknown

Now you can perform a sealed message reading psychic act, without the use of paid accomplices of any kind. Not just one, but two complete presentations are thoroughly and patiently explained.

The Question-and-Answer or "Q&A" Act is one of the most riveting that the psychic entertainer can present. Your audiences will be amazed to find that the psychic performer is able to discern their thoughts ... even though their questions remain sealed and in view in a glass bowl upon the stage. And yes, their questions can be returned after the performance.

This act is the result of years of successful...

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Within the Dark Circle by unknown

This hard-to-find text on trumpet mediumship and fraudulent spiritism is now updated and better than ever.

Audiences enjoy seeing the psychic entertainer reveal the inside secrets of fraudulent mediums. And now, thanks to this rare old manuscript, you can. We love the title, for it really sets the mood, as the manifestations described take place in the dark, around the séance table. This is just the ticket for hosting a regular series of entertaining séances at your home, or that of your client.

And that's not all. Only in this edition is revealed a modern-day source for obtaining a...

★★★★★ $15
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Magic For the Millions by unknown

How to do magic easily and quickly, including illusions, stage magic, parlor magic, sleight-of-hand, and party stunts.

From the Foreword:

The Author of Magic For the Millions is a retired magician of many years experience as a professional showman, entertainer, writer, compiler and creator of humor. He lets us peek into the mysteries of magic; he regales us with a lot of new party stunts; he tells us what to do to amuse guests at the dinner table.

  • Sawing a Pretty Girl in Halves
  • The Famous Mail Bag Escape
  • Escape from a Paper Sack
  • Madam Spoof, Mind Reader
  • The...
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Saturday Review by unknown

This is the review of Robert-Houdin's The Sharper Detected and Exposed that appeared in Saturday Review on May 9th, 1863.

1st edition 1863; PDF 5 pages.

★★★★★ $2
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The Play Room by unknown

This is an interesting book with beautifully weird games, stunts, experiments, puzzles and magic, some of which I have not seen described anywhere else.

  • Play Room Games
    • Blind-Man's-Buff
    • How D'ye Like Your Neighbor?
    • One Old Ox Opening Oysters
    • Magic Music
    • Twirling The Plate
    • How Do You Like It? When Do You Like It? And Where Do You Like It?
    • What Is My Thought Like?
    • Cupid's Coming
    • Cross Questions And Crooked Answers
    • Consequences
    • I Love My Love With An A
    • Proverbs
    • The Emperor Of Morocco
    • Buff
    • The Family Coach
    • Earth, Air, And Water
    • Oranges And Lemons
    • Pigeons Fly
    • Red-Cap And Blue-Cap ...
★★★★ $5
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Scientific Betting by unknown

This is an exceptionally good ebook on odds and percentages of various popular games including horse races.

  • Purpose Of This Book
  • Chances Involved In Tossing Coins
  • Dice Throwing And Craps
  • Combinations And Chances With Dice
  • Casino Dice
  • Matching Games With Coins
  • Probability Of Repetitions
  • Roulette
  • Draw Poker
  • Chuck-O-Luck
  • Hazard
  • The Big Six
  • The Slot Machine
  • Chances In Horse Racing
  • Systems And Fallacies
  • Why The Bank Invariably Wins

1st edition 1947, 120 pages; PDF 87 pages.

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The Black Art or Magic Made Easy by unknown
    1. How To Make The Pass
    2. The Long Card
    3. To Produce a Particular Card without Seeing the Pack
    4. To Call for Any Card in the Pack
    5. The Changeable Ace
    6. The Convertible Aces
    7. The Gathering of the Clans
    8. Everybody's Card
    9. Forcing a Card
    10. The Card hit upon by Guess
    11. Ups and Downs
    12. To Tell The Card That A Person Has Touched With His Finger
    13. The Card Discovered by Touch or Smell
    14. Confederate Cards
    15. The Ten Duplicates, or Cards in Couples
    16. The Turn-Over Feat
    17. The Nerve Feat
    18. To Tell The Number Of Cards By The Weight
    19. To Change the Card by Word of Command
    20. The Card in a Mirror
    21. The...
★★★★ $5
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The Mysteries of the Seance by unknown

The "tell-all" book that reveals the innermost secrets of "office" and seance mediums!

These are the very methods used by fraudulent spirit mediums to bilk the innocent public. Because this ebook lays bare the actual methods, the author chose to be anonymous, for fear of reprisals by crooked mediums and their followers. You'll learn the secrets of "Blood writing" (as sold by The Nelson Enterprises), ghostly apparitions, spirit slate writing, seance exhibitions, ballot tests, and many, many other pseudo-mediumistic stunts.

The author, a member of the Spiritualist religious movement, finally...

★★★★ $8
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Conjuring Contretemps by unknown

This is a fun and informative article by an anonymous amateur magician detailing various mishaps of magic performances. Along the way we learn the modus operandi of all kinds of illusions, from Buatier de Kolta's vanishing cage all the way to the bullet catch.

This article was originally published in Chamber's Journal of December 16th, 1882.

1st edition 1882, 5 pages; digital edition 8 pages.

★★★★★ $2
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Monte Carlo by unknown

This manual exposes cheating at gambling of all kinds including more than 100 methods of rigged machines, tables, dice, marked cards, sleight of hand and more.

It is unclear when this book was originally published, but it does reprint some illustrations from The Expert at the Card Table which means it must be after 1902. Our best guess is that this was published during the 1920s.

From the preface:

The lack of knowledge on any one subject is not ignorance. You may be the smartest lawyer, the most brilliant doctor, a captain of finance, an intelligent banker, an educated scholar, and a gentleman in every walk of...

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La Sedia Elettrica e la Moneta Bollente by unknown

Uno spettatore viene chiamato a sedersi su una sedia . Dopo un po’ sobbalza dalla sedia come se fosse stato colpito da una scossa elettrica. La cosa si ripete varie volte durante il corso della presentazione...un bambino viene chiamato a tenere una moneta che l'esecutore può tenere tranquillamente in mano ma lui non ci riesce, perchè nelle sue mani la moneta diventa bollente e la deve ripetutamente gettare a terra...poi...

Questa è una breve descrizione degli effetti che si possono eseguire , senza spesa e in poco tempo, conoscendo questo segreto gelosamente custodito e ora spiegato...

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The Book of Forbidden Knowledge by unknown

This is a weird book that mixes black magic, superstitions, charms, divination, signs, omens, hypnosis ... and conjuring. You can find next to each other things like "how to make persons at a distance think of you" and "how to perform the Davenport Brothers' Spirit Mysteries". Probably it is most useful for finding interesting story lines.

1st digital edition 2012, 63 pages.

★★★★★ $5
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Pseudo Ipnosi Animale by unknown

I metodi per ipnotizzare apparentemente un animale, qualunque animale, sono stati tenuti SEGRETI per lungo tempo.

Ora questi segreti sono resi disponibili ad un ristretto numero di persone. Le informazioni contenute in questo volumetto infatti ti insegneranno ad ipnotizzare in maniera apparente : conigli, rospi, rane, maiali, galline, galli, crostacei, aragoste, gamberi, porcellini d'india, camaleonti, lucertole, oche, rettili, serpenti , coccodrilli e animali di grossa taglia.

Ovviamente l'ipnosi non c'entra niente, ma ti verranno spiegati metodi , "trucchi”, per porre in un apparente...

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Mentalism Unleashed by unknown

The modern secrets of mentalism have been kept locked away to a select few. That is until now. Unlike other bibles of mentalism that came before, you will learn modern 21st century techniques for all the great effects of mentalism.

Easy to learn with full color photos and embedded Quicktime video clips! There's no fluff in this manuscript. It was written by a collaboration of mind reading experts.

You'll learn to:

  • Melt coins into liquid metal in a spectators hand
  • Learn the basics of bending metal and learn a new twist that looks truly psychic (with video) ...
★★★★★ $24.95
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Manual de Magica Blanca by unknown

This is a Spanish 19th century magic manual describing mostly effects based on clever mechanical, chemical, optical, acoustic and physical principles. It also contains earlier versions of card and coin tricks based upon simple sleight of hand and mathematical principles.

You will notice the ebook is not written in modern Spanish. A great work for historians, collectors or simply if you feel curious about bizarre magic methods of the 19th century.

1st edition 1881; 339 pages.

★★★★ $9
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Practical Hypnotism - How to Hypnotize by unknown

Aside from some archaic word usage this ebook gives you all the fundamentals to perform hypnosis. No need to buy a high priced course. All the basics are here as well as hypnotism's historic background.

62 pages.

  1. Theories Regarding Hypnotism
  2. The Braid Method of Hypnotism
  3. Dr. Liebault's Method of Hypnotism
  4. Fascination Method of Hypnotism
  5. The Suggestive Method Of Hypnotism
  6. Hypnotism In Diseases
  7. Uses Of Hypnotism
  8. Illusions And Hallucinations
  9. Auto Suggestion
  10. Hypnotic Suggestion
  11. Telepathic Suggestion
  12. Post-Hypnotic Suggestion
  13. The Dangers Of Hypnotism
  14. Hypnotism For Scientific Practice ...
★★★★★ $7
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The Adventures of Ajeeb - The Wonderful Chess Automaton by unknown

From an old description:

Ajeeb, who recently completed a tour across the United States, meeting all state champions and whose record remains undefeated, is now at the Steel Pier, Atlantic City, meeting all comers at checkers.

Ajeeb's wizardry at chess and checkers is world renowned, and its secret mechanism has baffled mankind since 1769, the year in which it was devised.

During its career, this marvelous automaton has humbled in chess not only the masters of the world, but the greatest soldier of them all - Napoleon Bonaparte.

Ajeeb's mysterious mechanism, its uncanny ability to...

★★★★★ $5
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25 Lessons in Hypnotism by unknown

Shades of the Manchurian Candidate...this book teaches how to put someone into a hypnotic trance by showing them a playing card.

This is a great starter book from the depression years with all kinds of diverse hypnotic information. There are even a few "politically incorrect" statements in the book. But, after all, it was the 1930s.

You will be taught ways to hypnotize yourself or a room full of people, how to hypnotize someone instantaneously, and even how to hypnotize animals. It also covers mesmerism, magnet healing and other closely related subjects.

1st edition 1930s; 35 pages

★★★★★ $5
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Learn How to be a Handcuff King and Mystery Man by unknown

This booklet covers a good selection of Houdini-style escape illusions. Among others you will learn how to escape from a safe or vault or trunk. It teaches several rope ties, how to pick locks and how to escape from handcuffs. This is a worthwhile addition to your escapology library.

24 pages.

  1. Preface
  2. No 1: A Great Handcuff Trick
  3. No 2: Escape From A Safe Or Vault
  4. No 3: The Vanishing Assistant
  5. No 4: The Crack Marksman
  6. No 5: The Marvelous Levitation Act
  7. No 6: The Excelsior Rope Tie
  8. No 7: The Wonderful Trunk Escape
  9. No 8: Escape From 75 Feet Of Rope
  10. No 9: The Siberian Chain Escape ...
★★★★ $2
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Hocus Pocus Junior by unknown

This book includes detailed work on the "Cups and Balls," and the first version of the "Stack of Pence" (i.e., "Stack of Quarters"). It is probably the first English book written from the viewpoint of a performing magician. Any serious magician should read this book, not to learn a lot of new tricks, but to realize how much has been known for a long time. This book is part of our history. I understand that $60 or more for a paper reprint is hard to justify, but now for a few bucks there should be no excuse to not read this wonderful little treasure.

1st edition, 1634; 52 pages.

  1. The Epistle...
★★★★★ $7
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Five Mind Reading Acts Exposed by unknown

Five Mind Reading Acts Exposed was written prior to 1940 and upon reading the 12 pages of instruction you realize that everything old is new again. Although all the routines are designed for a two person act some of the ideas contained can be adapted for a single performer. No author is credited and it is a compilation of secrets of acts of that era.

Act No. 1 is the reading of dates on coins sealed in envelopes. Today’s mentalists could combine this with Psychometry and Cold Reading to use as a feature in their act.

Act No. 2 is a preamble to the question answering act of Falkenstein....

★★★★★ $5
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The Art of Modern Conjuring by unknown

Today we have the Masked Magician exposing magic secrets. Eighty years ago it probably was done by writing a book without the author's name given. I do not know if this book falls in the category 'exposure'. It certainly is a book that clearly reveals a lot of interesting tricks. One is the bullet catch. It has nearly 200 excellent photographs. Card and coin manipulation is dealt with in great detail. Overall a very good book. The photographs are the outstanding part.

A review in the March 1909 Sphinx states:

"The Art of Modern Conjuring" is an anonymously written work on "Drawing Room...

★★★★★ $5
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