Bowing to the Mahatma

mahatmaThe 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.

Home 2015

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:

Volume 1:

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

Volume 2:

Spirit Cabinet p. 15

Light heavy chest p. 37

Magic Archery p. 111

The Electric Chair p. 122

The Modern William Tell p. 129

Volume 3

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!

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