A Lifetime in Magic by Percy Abbott

(c. 1960) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Details: Written by a man who spent seventy four years…a lifetime in magic! A professional magician…a world traveler…author…inventor…founder of the world’s larges magic company! Percy Abbott and magic are synonymous! In this book you will discover stories, experiences, secrets and advise that only a lifetime in magic can offer. You will uncover facts about the greats that will amaze you. There is a wealth of information on tricks and illusions new to present day magicians.

The current (2002), expanded edition of this work contains the complete text of Percy’s “Magic For Magicians”, a work long out of print and unavailable in any other form.


1 B&W Photo of Percy Abbott: likely around 1960
2 Memories: Intro by Greg Bordner
4 Dedication: to Gladys (his wife)
5 Foreword: by Sid Lorraine
12 Contents
13 The Chrystal Lantern: Percy’s start and some memories of Chung Ling Soo and some famous stage illusions
23 Comedy Snake Basket: Abbott’s Snake Basket and some discussion of the presentation of magic
28 Lost in the Bush – Australia: Early years away from Sydney and performing in small towns
36 Ventriloquism in Java: for people who have never seen a vent-doll before!
40 Clock Dial and Gambling: Provides some insight into the challenges of selling a show, and how Percy was able to take advantage of the situations before him (not always to great success!)
44 My Last Escape Dive: the dangers of not having adequate preparation time!
48 Magic in the Cockpits: no not planes, but Rooster-Fighting pits! Also, dealing with illness as one of the hazards of travel.
57 Phantasma: putting on an equisite Ghost Show
60 Japanese Repeats: doing the same show for the same “assistants”
61 Horace Goldin in Shanghai: Percy meets Goldin
64 Jensen In Australia Stage Thermometer: The Great Jensen’s (later known as Dante) shows and a comedy prop Percy made for him
70 De Biere’s Thumb Tip: Percy’s “cocky” approach vents some magic competition; a bit on repetition of the same effects
74 Oswald Williams “Box of Tricks”: how a magician cleverly modified old tricks, but they look all the same to the layman
76 Chinese Egg Act: an act that Mr. Abbott could not duplicate
77 The Lifting of the Steel Spikes: some discussion on the “stealing” of ideas in the magic circles
81 The Nicola Show: one of the greats
83 Fooling the Bookers: Nicola getting what he wanted
86 Inside Siberia: Percy’s stint in Russia, and a dangerous one at that!
89 Sawing a Woman: everyone wanted this illusion
99 Carnival & Jensen: some time in New York
102 Magic in Japan: tough work!
103 The Silver Mines of Korea: more rewarding, though gruelling
107 Arrested in Cochin China: passport troubles and a unique Chinese act
111 The Walking Ball Trick: brief explanation of a trick by the Magicians of Ceylon
111 Stranded: in the USA of all places
114 Harry Thurston Show: Harry and Howard contrasted, and Percy’s experience “helping” Harry’s show as long as he could bear it!
126 Magic in Schools: easier fare in Indiana
128 The Family Arives: Harry Blackstone, Percy’s wife Gladys, and more family. Autobiography concludes in part with the admission that Percy has “said little about the years of The Abbott Magic Co.”; and this would have been great to hear about!

  • Publisher: Abbott’s
  • Pages: 132
  • Location: Colon, MI, USA
  • Dimensions: 6″x8″
  • Date: 1960
  • Binding: softbound

Contents: magicref.net – click for details

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Approx. Price: $20.00 (2004) ***

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