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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Fox Lake Cards (25 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bill Palmer
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You are right about that. China and India are really rough on the ozone layer.

There is a Carta Mundi factory in Dallas now. We can get them over here without any difficulty. They are one of the few card companies that USPCCo hasn't bought out.

@Anatole -- regarding "Air Cushion" and "Linen" finish -- the meanings of these terms changed over the years. During the time up to about 1965 or so, the linen finish was basically the same as the Bee brand Cambric finish. Air Cushion was a finish that was found mainly on Bikes. If you held the card at an angle so you could see the reflection of the light off the surface, there were basically lengthwise stripes of rough areas that were about 1/16 of an inch thick. Their other finishes were called "Ivoroid" or "Smooth" finish.

At some point around 1965 or so, USPCCo decided to simplify things. The Air Cushion finish on Bikes was the same as the Linen finsh and the Cambric finish. The "Ivoroid" and "Smooth" finishes became the "Smooth" finish. If you decided to order your own cards from them, you could get them in either finish. You could even get Bikes in smooth finish, but you had to order a lot of them.

Frank Garcia used this to his advantage when he used Blue Ribbon cards.

USPCCo has several different grades of card stock. Sid Radner used to tell everyone that the Bee paper was the best quality they had; however, a friend of mine who worked for USPCCo told me that Congress, which was their best bridge card, had the best paper.

A lot of the trouble with Bikes, especially when you buy them at discount shops, is that sometimes you get the last of the run of the cards, before they resharpen the dies to cut the sheets. This results in cards with rough edges. Those edges make the cards very difficult to faro shuffle.

I'm really sorry that USPCCo bought Fournier. They made some really nice poker cards. They were not easy to faro out of the box, but after about 10 or 15 minutes of faro shuffling, the edges became smoother. The problem was that the edges were basically square, instead of microscopically tapered.
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Merc Man
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China with 8% and India with 2% of the World's CO2 emissions? Nope - actually, I was referring to the Country that emits a staggering 30% on it's own! Then again, this particular Country likes being first at everything - so there you go. Smile

As for the woeful bikes - I purchased a brick of them via a major UK card supplier and apart from the torn & restored card, they were only fit for the bin (given that I perform a lot of Alex Elmsley's Faro work).

Does anyone know of any U.S. supplier that may still have brick of Fox Lakes in their vaults by any chance?
Barry Allen

"The Rules of the Sleight-of-Hand Artist, are three and all others are vain; the first and second are 'practice', and the third one is 'practice again'.

Edward Victor 1936
jnrussell
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I still have my first ID (Fox Lake) purchased in the summer of 1965 at the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame at Niagra Falls. I still use it, and it still works great!
John Russell
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J Christensen
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One nice feature of the old Fox Lake decks was that a deck cost 35 cents in the mid to late fifties when I bought them at Nelson's Magic Shop in Columbus, Ohio.
Promagia
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I love Fox Lake cards. I have a collection of trick decks.
Merc Man
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Quote:
On 2012-08-26 16:41, Promagia wrote:
I love Fox Lake cards. I have a collection of trick decks.


Treat them well fella - they are undoubtedly better than most of the dross sold today!

Just to add that my search for normal, ungaffed Fox Lakes continues - but sadly, to no avail.

I'm just certain that out in this big wide World, somewhere there's a bricks & mortar shop (or in other words, a REAL magic shop) that has a few bricks of them hidden away in a cupboard somewhere, just gathering dust.

Unfortunately, I'm now resigned to the fact that I'm probably just dreaming. Smile
Barry Allen

"The Rules of the Sleight-of-Hand Artist, are three and all others are vain; the first and second are 'practice', and the third one is 'practice again'.

Edward Victor 1936
tomdeg
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Yep, used many Fox Lake/Aviators bac in the day!
kellaroneil
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I remember having the Fox Lake Four Aces effect.
Peter McMillan
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My preferred deck since 1970 has been Aviator poker and bridge in blue or red. Always felt like a "sincere" deck. Never found a better handling deck. Fox Lake is a very happy memory also.
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Merc Man
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Peter,

Come on mate - you can't compare my beloved Fox Lakes with an Aviator Bridge Deck!

Aviator Poker (Mohawk, Torpedo, etc.) aren't a bad Poker-sized deck to use. I read once that Matt Schulien loved these brands as they were dirt cheap and easy to tear, but to compare Fox Lake Bridge with Aviator Bridge..............mate, you are so far wide of the mark.

It's like comparing a Classic Mercedes to a modern-day BMW! One is timeless quality whilst the other is modern-day, mass produced dross. Smile
Barry Allen

"The Rules of the Sleight-of-Hand Artist, are three and all others are vain; the first and second are 'practice', and the third one is 'practice again'.

Edward Victor 1936
Peter McMillan
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Merc you may have a good point there. Let me give it some thought.


Humm.....


Aaaaahaaaa.....

(smell of burning rubber)

Nope, have to stick with the Aviator bridge mate. But I did try!:)
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Russell Davidson
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Thought this link might interest some of you

http://www.cards4magic.co.uk/acatalog/co......ke_.html
Merc Man
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Hi Russell,

I visited Cards4Magic quite a few years back and bought their remaining Fox Lakes.

As far as I am aware, the Fox Lake gaffed decks now for sale are actually made up primarily in Aviator Bridge - albeit they are in Fox Lake card cases (you'll note that they also have Fox Lake empty tuck cases for sale).

There's a world of difference between the card stock used for the old Fox Lake cards and Aviator Bridge - but thanks for the 'heads up' mate.
Barry Allen

"The Rules of the Sleight-of-Hand Artist, are three and all others are vain; the first and second are 'practice', and the third one is 'practice again'.

Edward Victor 1936
Lucien Astor
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Old thread but... I found a box of old fox lake gaff decks at a garage sale... pop-eye poppers, invisible decks, forcing decks, etc. Any interest?
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BCS
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Lucien Astor... congratulations on your find... I have yet to find any magic at a garage sale.

I have to tell you that your Avatar is a favorite... you gave me a good laugh.

Take care,
Bruce
Kbuck54
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I remember some 40 years ago, while attending our local County 4 H Fair, I saw a gentalmen at a raised booth, he was hawking the FOX LAKE SVEN. DECK and nothing else. I watched for what seemed hours as he went through one routine after another with a new spectator each time. He had throngs of people crowded around his booth.
I ended up buying a red deck and a blue deck. $3.00 a deck if you can believe it. I still have the red deck put away with my other collectables. Not that it is so collectable as the fact that it represents my beginnings in magic.
Ah, the memories flood in.
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Chad Sanborn
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I remember the old Fox Lake designs! And I love bridge size cards. Much easier for sleight of hand purposes. Not sure why
poker size ever caught on with magicians.
I prefer Tally Ho cards now. But the best cards I ever had were Bee cards. I have a deck that's over 20 years old and will handle better than any card on the market now.
ringmaster
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Remember the FAKO deck and book ?
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Dick Oslund
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I just was browsing through threads that I have never looked at before...

Yes! AVIATORS! $.25 per deck! (Abbott's #7 catalog...April 1945...) The catalog page that showed gaff cards had a "mirror" cut. It showed both sides of the various gaffed cards. I learned all the flourishes, fans and shuffles, with a red back Aviator deck. Yes, when I bought "6 Card Repeat" (after seeing Harry Blackstone (pere) the cards were Aviator Bridges.

I learned, years later, that it took an "act of Congress" to get the USPCC to make gaffs from Bikes!

In my late teens, I started working on split fans and was having a problem, until I met Harry Milliken at a Ring 103 meeting when I joined the Navy. Harry explained that POKER size was easier to back P**m, and, white gloves helped. I broke in two poker decks, a blue Fan Back and an Aviator blue. I don't do white glove split fans anymore. (I had soon learned that at age 20, I was NOT "SWAYVE & DEBONER"!!!) but,I STILL USE THE AVIATOR DECK FOR FANCY SHUFFLES AND FANS WHEN I DO THE ROUTINE IN A SHOW!. That's a lot of shows!!!!! (I estimate, over 20,000!)

BTW, USPCC made special Aviators during WWII. Each card had a silhouette of an enemy plane. Service men,and air raid wardens, etc. could learn to identify planes, while they played. I don't remember if they were bridge or poker size.

Reminiscing is fun == at my age! I have been privileged to meet and know just about all of the CARD MEN of the last 50 years. I loved watching them work. I only DO one card trick. I lay out 21 cards in three rows, and then.....hekk, I forgot what comes next.........
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Dick Oslund
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Oh! I pitched Sevengalis (That's what Eddie Fields called them!) back when my friend Marshall Brodien was making a million with his TV magic cards.

I bought them (Aviators) from Ronald Haines. I think they cost me 30 cents per deck. I sold them for two bucks. And, yes, I used that ancient 'sure fire' line to turn the tip, when the card ended up in the card box. ("I've seen them tear their underwear getting out their wallets..."

Someday, I'll fire up this "infernal electrisch peckenclacker" and retell Roy Kissell's story of the 'home made' Sevengalis. Maybe, if someone coaxes, begs or pleads, I'll do it sooner than "someday".
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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