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SillverFoxx
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Hi everyone,
I just purchased volumes 1-3 of the Tarbell series. Volume one was printed in 1942 and has an inscription and label indicating it belonged to Cyril A. Keller. It was given to him by another magician named Phil A (or H?) Cowas (I think?). The last name definitely has the ending "owas" or "awas", but the first letter looks like it could be an A, G, or C.

Does anyone know something about these men? I'm very excited to have the books, and I wanted to learn about the previous owners. Smile
Thanks!
Bill Palmer
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Cyril Keller was born and raised in Baltimore. He lived in Philadelphia for a while. He died in September 2005 at the age of 77. He was very prominent in the Baltimore magic scene during the 1960's.

I got this information from a Broken Wand listing in the Nov, 2005 Linking Ring, by doing a search on Ask Alexander.

Could the other person be Phil Thomas? I can't find a Phil Cowas or Gowas. Phil Thomas was a Baltimore magic dealer.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
SillverFoxx
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THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
I'm so happy to have these books and I wanted to know more about the people who owned them before me.

Actually... the other person could be Phil Thomas. The signature on his last name is very spread out; I thought it was a middle initial "A" and then the last name. I tried to take a picture and post it on here to show you, but apparently that is not allowed Smile Can anyone look information up on the website you mentioned? Or do you have to subscribe to the magazine?

THANK YOU AGAIN!!!
Bill Palmer
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Photograph the signature and upload it to photobucket.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
SillverFoxx
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I tried that, but I think there's a block on the Café that won't let me post actual pictures in my reply. I've never come across another post that has a picture in it, so I think they must block it somehow. I tried sending it in a PM too and that didn't work either. Smile
DonDriver
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I worked at Yogi Magic Mart in the 60s.Of course I knew Phil as he owned the shop. Cy Keller came to all the Yogi magic club meetings once a month.Cy was really good with a deck of cards.Cy was a really laid back kind of guy and very very friendly.Cy and Howie Swartzman were close friends.Just saw Howie when I did a lecture at Dennys last June.

Phils writting wasn't very good so if the signature looks like chicken scratch...its more than likly Phils.
Here is his signature on a letter Phil sent out after the fire at the shop in 1978,and a news paper story about the fire.

http://gr8pics.tripod.com/Yogi.pdf

Thanks for the post...it brought back some great memeories.

Hope this helped some

Later,Don
SillverFoxx
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Hi Don,
Thanks so much for the information! I'm having trouble opening the link at home, so I'll try it at work tomorrow. I posted the writing below in another section of the Café; I'm so happy to know whose book I have! Smile Make me feel more connected to what I'm holding... I love learning the stories of things. Does the inscription sound like your friends?

This is what was written in the book's inscription:

Cyril-
a sincere student of sorcery- keep 'em happy with magic!
Opti-mystically,
Phil Thomas
8/1/42
DonDriver
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That "Opti-mystically " I believe was Phil.He loved pun's and I'm sure I have heard Phil say that before.

Phil signed lots of books.Phil grew up with Milbourne Christopher so he knew books.Mil came in the shop all the time.Mil's Illustrated History of Magic is dedicated to Phil.When Phil first open the book and saw it,he looked at Mil and said "I'm not worthy".There wasn't a dry eye in the shop that day.

Anyway,1942 would have been in the middle of WWll and put Cy at age 14.WOW!The bottom line is I'm 99% sure its Phil's signature to Cy Keller when he was 14.

Where did you get thses books from ? This has to be an interesting story.

Later,Don

.
SillverFoxx
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I found them on ebay Smile
A lady had them posted... now I'm wondering where she got them from, because she didn't really seem to know much about them.

I've only been practicing magic for 2 years (I'm 28 yrs old), and a friend of mine told me I should look into getting a set of Tarbell books if I was really serious about learning. He said that he still reads back through those books to get ideas to use in his illusions, even after reading them over and over again. Personally, I like things (especially books) that have been used and treasured by other people because they have a history to them. When I saw this book on ebay, I was excited because it had an inscription in it. It actually has a name plate that says "This book belongs to Cyril A. Keller" too. I think that with all the technology and everything that has evolved today, it's really important to hold on to things from the past, especially things that are personal... like a book that was given to one friend by another. Smile

I'm so happy to have this book, and very happy to hear about the two magicians who were behind it!
DonDriver
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You can get Milbourne Christopher's Illustrated history of Magic on ebay cheap.Its a good book on the history of magic.You have the signature of Phil who the book is dedicated to...thats a bit of magic history in its self.

Thanks for the answer and enjoy the books.

Don
SillverFoxx
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I just emailed the lady who sold me the book... I'll post when she replies. She lives in Georgia (I think), so I wonder how the book made it all the way to her?

Thank you so much for telling me about the book! Smile
Bill Palmer
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There are a lot of mistakes in the Christopher book about the History of magic, especially concerning early magic. His later information is somewhat better.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
SillverFoxx
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I received these emails from the lady who sold me the book on ebay:

Hi, nice to hear from you! I got the books at an estate auction in Chester Heights PA, the person they are inscribed to must have owned them and recently passed away. I bought all of his books but those were the only magic ones, the rest were very old fiction novels. What is the inscription? I can check against the other books if you want, thanks!

And then this came also from her earlier today:
Hi,
I just answered the Q you sent me thru ebay about the books, and then I just thought of something! As I said I bought a bunch of books from an estate, and I recall now that one of the other non-magic books was owned by a guy with the last name of TARBELL.
It was called The Officer's Guide, 1942 Military Service Publishing Co., inscribed inside it said " Sgt Albert Tarbell Fort Benning GA Oct 14, 1942."
This was an official US Army WW2 officers handbook, I sold it on ebay so I don't have it anymore. I do recall thinking that was a coincidence that the names were Tarbell. I do not recall any of the other books I bought having the Tarbell name written inside. I also do not know if the estate belonged to Albert Tarbell. Hope this helps!! Let me know what you find out, this is interesting!! have a good day!
SillverFoxx
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Also, Phil Thomas and the Yogi Magic Mart is being discussed in "Flavors From the Past" at this link as well:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......um=97&15

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me with stories about my book and these two men! I will keep you posted on what I find out, and if you have a story to tell please let me know Smile
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