Chicago close up magicians: Every Saturday for the past 25 years, a group of friends has gathered in a Lincoln Park apartment to invent and perfect some of the world’s most mind-blowing card tricks.
Matthias Buchinger, sometimes called Matthew Buckinger, described himself as "the wonderful Little Man of but 29 inches high, born without Hands, Feet, or Thighs." Despite being born (in Germany in 1674) with limbs "more resembling fins of a fish than arms of a man," he was renowned for his works as a calligrapher and micrographer (remarked for details illustrated in psalms written in characters of different sizes), builder of whimsey bottles (the oldest known "mining bottle"), and called the most extraordinary conjurer of all time. People may have initially gathered to see a tragedy, but instead were presented with an astounding range of impressive skills. [more inside]
Have you any spare mercury about the house? Are you well supplied with saltpetre, phosphorus, and oil of vitriol? Such domestic staples can you afford you ENDLESS AMUSEMENT! in the form of hundreds of science tricks from 1847! [more inside]
The Berglas Effect aka The Holy Grail of Card Magic or Any Card at Any Number (ACAAN) and named after its inventor David Berglas is a very simple magic card trick that Berglas claims only two people know. [more inside]
Most cards in North America are made by United States Playing Card Company (USPC) which owns Bicycle, Bee, Tally-Ho (favored by Penn and Teller), Hoyle, and KEM(notably 100% plastic). USPC helped the WWII war effort with its production of playing cards with hidden maps. [more inside]
How many ways can you shuffle? Here are some to get you started (along with how to manipulate them): the Overhand Shuffle, the Riffle Shuffle, the Hindu Shuffle, the Faro Shuffle, the Pile Shuffle, and the Mongean Shuffle. If you can't master one of those, I suggest the Wash Shuffle, a shuffling machine, or the ever-popular 52-Card Pickup. [more inside]
Theory 11 is your source for the latest and greatest magic tricks, instructional magic videos, and playing cards. [more inside]
Dai Vernon chased down card cheats and swindlers to make him a better magician. It paid off. One of the best magicians of the twentieth century, Dai first made his name in 1919 when he became The Man Who Fooled Houdini. Watch his version of the classic routines the cups and balls and the linking rings. Vernon also mentored many magicians throughout his life, including Ricky Jay. Vernon died at the age of 98 after years as the Magician in Residence at Hollywood's Magic Castle.