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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Question about Tarbell (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

james_unlimited
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Does anyone know if the original books came with gimmicks and supplies.. some how got this into my head that when they were first published they came with various gimmicks etc.
Clint Miller
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I just started reading Tarbell. It says that the first course came with the needed gimmick. He says that some gimmicks are needed for later courses, but they had to be bought seperately.
Bryan Smith
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When it was a correspondence course (not books), many of the lessons came with gimmicks. These days, the gimmicks are easily acquired from magic stores or made yourself.
"I'm half drunk most the time
and I'm all drunk the rest"
--Tom Waits
Dougini
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The Beautiful State Of Maine
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Ah, I wondered about that.

So, Bryan, the gimmicks came WITH some lessons, when it was a correspondence course in the 20's, before the books came out. But SOME gimmicks had to be bought separately for the LATER lessons. Thank you Clint, and welcome to the Magic Café!

I was confused about that. Of course, at my age, confusion is a regular thing...ahem.

:)

Doug
Erdnase27
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The buyer also had a small tin suitcase where the gimmicks could be placed Smile
"He must be content to rank with the common herd." - S.W. Erdnase
james_unlimited
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Anyone got one of these originals? or are they only found in museums now?
Erdnase27
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I have all eight hardcovers, not the originals. You might get some on ebay if ure lucky
"He must be content to rank with the common herd." - S.W. Erdnase
John Long
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You can get the original lesson as an e-book from Lybrary
http://www.lybrary.com/advanced_search_r......&x=0&y=0

but the original lesson are not the same as in the hardbound copies.
tstark
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I have had the early editions of the books and the original lessons. I don't remember coming across information in the original lessons but there is information regarding the original contents in the course that is listed in the hardcover books if you read the history of the development of the course.

Other people approached to create the course were Jim Sherman of National Magic who it was reported wanted too much money, Harlan Tarbell and Walter Baker who were both originally dropped in favor of Harry Houdini (coincidentally in the year of his death) who decided he did not have the time to write the course but then suggested that Harlan Tarbell would be an excellent choice (Walter Baker declined to further pursue his career and it was decided he did not have the experience necessary for the course).

Harlan Tarbell began as an illustrator having worked for Dennison's and illustrating for Read and Colvert (I know that Tarbell did many of the catalog illustrations for the Chicago Magic Company catalogs in the 1920s) and he reportedly illustrated for them into the 1940s.

The course was available complete, in groups, or as single lessons but was discontinued in 1931 for diminishing sales due to the depression. The entire course could be purchased for $60 on time payments, $50 complete, I believe $15 was the price for 15 lessons and individual lessons were available at $1 if memory serves.

The items available either with the course or to be purchased for the course are: The Society Table made by Frank Ceasar, the Orange Vase from Thayer, Abbotts Chinese Coins, a strong box to hold the course and a wand, wand shells, thumb tip, finger tip (brilliant item little used today), wax, glass and glass disk for the vanishing coin, Tarbell course palming coins which also had a shell available, paper rings for the Afghan Bands, metal rings, Bautier style pull, tissue paper, and a handkerchief ball. There may have been more items available but I do not have the course any longer, take a look in the hardcover books and I believe you will find the information there.

There has never been another course like it before or since and is one of the top 5 learning sources for budding and more accomplished magicians. There was a question asked in another thread about the material being dated. All old material will be dated in terms of patter and presentation but the technical details, psychology, sleights, and gimmicks are certainly not. Much of the course material deals with classic matter still used by performers to this day, and the gimmicks and sleights are merely musical notes that can be arranged and rearranged to create new symphonies for well past the time that I fade from view.

The hardcover books are still sold today with much of the material being little changed since the original inception in 1926. Some material was dropped and other material was reorganized but testimony to the fact that the information prsented is timeless is that the Tarbell Course in Magic is still available today, relatively unchanged and considered by most to be as important as when it was first introduced. You can trace the beginnings of many performers from hobbyist to your greatest stage performers to a few historic events those being Hoffman's Modern Magic, the Mysto Magic Sets, and the course written beginning in 1926...the Tarbell Course in Magic
james_unlimited
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Thanks for the detailed reply!! what made you sell your original?
tstark
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I actually have had two of the originals and I still have a couple of the original single lessons. I also sold a set of the first edition hardcovers. I have a museum/collection online at atlantismagic.com that houses much of what I have had in the past. I do not have a lot of money so I have had to sell parts of the collection to build the collection.

There is much that I miss, the course included, but there is much that I still have as well. Perhaps someday I will be able to acquire the original course once more and it would likely remain in my posession. It is difficult to identify much of what would have come in the strong box but I do have some of the original palming coins and shells. You can see examples of these Tarbell Palming Coins in my museum.
james_unlimited
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Has anyone considered doing a modern version of the tarbell lessons with color photos etc, the same old tricks though?
Kuma
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I would love to see a re-issue. Perhaps on CD so it could involve video demonstrations.
StephenP
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Wondering what is the version on Amazon that is dated 2009 and listed at $189. Is that an actual reissue and/or revision of some kind?
UnderYourNose
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That's a beautiful collection, tstark. Some of my first props were bought as a small collection from an antique store many years ago. I wish I knew what became of them, I may have had some truly historic items without knowing it.

edit: Ah, found one of them. Sent you a PM.
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