Herrmann, Alexander. Herrmann's Book of Magic. Chicago: Frederick J. Drake & Co., 1903. LCCN 05035787.
When you were a kid, did your grandfather ever pull a coin from his pocket, clap his hands together and make it disappear, then “find” it behind your ear, sending you off to the Popsicle truck for a summer evening treat? If so, and you're now grandparent age yourself, this may be the book from which he learned that trick. Alexander Herrmann was a prominent stage magician in the latter half of the nineteenth century. In this 1903 book, he reveals many of the secrets of the conjuror, from the fundamental sleight of hand skills of palming objects and vanishing and producing them, to the operation of famous illusions such as the disembodied head which speaks. This on-line edition, available both in HTML and Plain ASCII formats, is a complete reproduction of the book, including (in the HTML edition) all the illustrations.

If you must have a printed copy, you may find one at abebooks.com, but it will probably be expensive. It's much better to read the on-line edition produced from a copy found by Bill Walker at a yard sale and kindly contributed to produce this edition.

July 2006 Permalink