The first regularly published magic magazine in the United States was Mahatma, which started in 1895 and continued for the next decade. It was a delightful magazine full of history, profiles, advertisements, and wonderful platform/stage effects. I’m not going to do a run-through, as I did previously with The Sphinx, because I’m really only here to tell you the good news that for a very limited time, you can get the full run of Mahatma for free from the Conjuring Arts Research Center. It’s a download of ten pdfs, one volume per file, and also included is an index that allows searches across all the volumes.
Be quick—it was there early this morning, I don’t know if it will still be there tomorrow.
As a small guide, here are some of the effects I enjoyed reading about in the first three volumes:
Knight’s Tour p. 25
The False finger p. 26
Coffee cup Balanced on the Point of a Knife p. 35
The Mysterious Trunk p. 77
Hand Shadows of Famous People p. 92
Spirit Cabinet p. 15
Light heavy chest p. 37
Magic Archery p. 111
The Electric Chair p. 122
The Modern William Tell p. 129
The Magic Water Bowl p. 11
The Spider Coin Catcher p. 14
Teaching a Dog Magic p.33
The Spelling Bee p.52, p.67
And of course, wonderful bios, ads, news, publicity shots and so on, a real treasure trove for the magic history buff. Thanks, CARC!