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Resources for Magic Apparatus (and Illusion) Builders

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This article will focus on books for the magic apparatus builder and is not designed specially for those interested in large illusions but should be a good resource illusion builders.  I will first focus on some important series of books from some great minds in magic apparatus and then list some individual titles. Check back on this article in the future and I will likely add to it over time.



Classic Magic with Apparatus Series by Robert Albo

Certainly, the most comprehensive collection of books on magic apparatus ever assembled. There are 11 hardbound books in this series with numerous supplements which covers the classic effects while not trying to delve too much into more modern commercial apparatus.  While the series is officially completed, Albo continues to develop more content and future projects but not under the Classic Magic with Apparatus format and name.

Read More About the Classic Magic with Apparatus Series by Robert Albo



Miracles Trilogy by Eric C. Lewis (Choice of Miracles, Continuation of Miracles, Crowning Miracles) 

Among Eric Lewis achievements in magic literature, is coauthoring the Oriental Magic of the Bamberg or Volume 1 of the Classic Magic with Apparatus series.  However, probably the most comprehensive achievement is the Miracles Trilogy which represented his lifetime in magic.  Many of his earlier books had been reworked and redrawn to be included in these 3 books.  Lewis descibes in these book many of his unique apparatus inventions many of which have been incorpoated into commercially available products.

Read More About the Miracles Trilogy by Eric C. Lewis



Jack Hughes World of Magic Volumes 1-3 

The series is an amazing set of books especially when you consider all the contents were dreamed up by one man.  The first Volume was published in 1981 and Volume 3 was published in 1999.  Volume 3 was also issue with a comb bound index to the 3 volumes which is helpful in locating any Jack Hughes trick or illusion you can think of.  The volumes are all well illustrated and contain ample descriptions for the builder to create their own version of the tricks.  Many of the inventions have been commercially manufactured by Abbott's, Jack Hughes Magic, and others.

Read More About the Jack Hughes World of Magic Volumes 1-3 



Conjurors' Series of Books by Sam H. Sharpe (Mechanical, Hydraulic & Pneumatic, and Optical Secrets)

Sharpe was a semi-professional magician but is best know for his many magical writings including the Conjurers' series of books which examines various principles of magic on an in-depth basis. These 3 books are all published by Hades although Mechanical Secrets was initially published by Tannen's until the rights were transferred over to Hades who published subsequent editions.  There is a fourth book, Conjurors' Psychological Secrets, which is not apparatus focused but part of the series.

Read More About the Conjurors' Series of Books by Sam H. Sharpe



The (New) Make-up of Magic by Micky Hades

These books by Micky Hades are quite unique and are some of the few that address magic apparatus from the perspective of the builder. Aside from the somewhat confusing title, this book covers the design and construction of magic apparatus.  There are numerous tips and also various principles and methods explained.  There are 2 versions of the book where The New Make-up of Magic includes added material.

Read More About The Make-up of Magic by Micky Hades



Jack Gwynne: The Man, His Mind, and his “Royal Family of Magic”  by David Charvet

This is a comprehensive work of the life and magic of Jack Gwynne covers the magic apparatus and illusions of Jack Gwynne. The “Livestock” section covers the “The Box, Tray, and Screen” and the “Spee-Dee Rabbit” productions. You will no doubt recognize “Jack Gwynne’s Rabbit Box” sold by Thayer or the “Hong King Dove Screen” which is credited to “Doc” Nixon although improved by Gwynne.  These are just a few examples of some of the familar magic you will find in this book.

Read More About Jack Gwynne: The Man, His Mind, and his “Royal Family of Magic”



Magic Stencil Techniques - Magic Builder Series by Matt Ruetz

This book has been released in a second edition which is available as an eBook and includes the tips and techniques for making stencils and painting them.  The book helps you make professional looking designs and now includes a new section on creating your own decals for more detailed work.  Includes many color photographs, illustrating various stencil created designs.

Read More About Magic Stencil (and Decal) Techniques



Successful Magic (Conjuring) for Amateurs by Norman Hunter

While the title of this book may lead you to believe it is not appropriate for the professional magicians, it is a significant apparatus book with numerous fine line illustrations and photographs over 37 chapters covering over 500 tricks over nearly 400 pages. It was actually released as "Successful Conjuring for Amateurs" for the UK market and "Successful Magic for Amateurs" for the US market with no other notable differences. A later abridged edition called simply "Successful Conjuring" was also released later without credit to the original author.

Read More About Successful Magic for Amateurs



Ingenious Magic Apparatus & Illusion Patents by Matt Ruetz

This eBook contains over 180 pages with descriptions and a picture of each invention for easy identification.  You can then browse the actual patent documents of the over 450 included patents in an easy to read and print PDF format. Just a small sample of the great inventors included in this book are:

  • Brehmer, Carl F. (Carl Brema)       
  • Ulyssess Frederic UF Grant     
  • Petrie, John A.
  • Massey, Edward M. 
  • Taylor, Merville A.
  • Axtell, Stephen B.
  • Fiedler, Lubor
  • Karson, Joseph A.
  • Setteducati, Mark
  • Buatier, Joseph (de Kolta)
  • Thurston, Howard
  • Wilson, James Mark
  • Steinmeyer, Jim
  • Gaughan, John
  • Wakeling, Alan

 Read More About Ingenious Magic Apparatus & Illusion Patents


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0 #1 William Fischer 2008-11-28 09:43
After reading an article like this one, I am sad that I am out of money and space on my book shelf!
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