November 23rd, 2007

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Lesser-known Icons 29

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Is "Plakie the Toymaker" brain-damaged? "Pair of little ones said to me: 'Plakie, please make some show-me-how books for very beginners...books that won't tear the way we handle things'"

Johnnie Shoemaker reminds me of the recently deceased Mr. Whipple of Charmin fame.

Bostich Bob! Yay, local boy! Bostich stapler company was a Rhode Island Institution for many years. Now probably owned by Spumco.

BEAVIS: Merkin magic! *Snort* *Snurf*
BUTTHEAD: He said Merkin!

If Knaust's Cavern Brand Mushrooms are not grown in an actual cavern by elves, I want my money back.

Posted by Paul DiFi.
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Magic catalogue 1

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My pal Michael Toman recently sent me this catalogue of magical tricks and devices. It's so charming, I thought I would begin scanning it in a series of posts: thirty-six in all, since there are seventy-two pages here.

What you can't see on the cover scan above is the faint rubber-stamped name of the store that supplied this copy: Berg's Magic Studio/6560 Hollywood Blvd./HollywoodCalif. 90028

In googling, I discovered the story of Joe Berg, an individual very briefly described at these two sites:

He started in Chicago before moving to Hollywood. A patron recalls the Chicago store here:

Here are some other Berg catalogues:

The cover drawing is signed "Ed. Mishell, 1965," which gives us a fairly good date for the publication of the catalogue itself. Besides being an artist, it appears that Mishell was also a magician and author, as we see here:

Enough facts. Go enjoy these tricks from an era when stage magic was not David Copperfield and Penn & Teller.

[Click for total satisfaction]

Posted by Paul DiFi.