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Patrick Differ
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I've looked and looked, and maybe even overlooked...
I'm interested in knowing the origins of the Svengali deck. Items of interest may include (but aren't limited to)...
Svengali's first name;
L/S principle;
Marketing and merchandising development;
etc.
My apologies if this has been discussed. If so, please provide me with a link...

Patrick
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
Craig Matsuoka
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There's lots of information in the Magic Lineage Project:

http://www.lybrary.com/mlp

BTW, "Svengali" is not the name of the inventor. It's the name of a character in George du Maurier's book Trilby.
drhackenbush
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There's some good info in this thread:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......3&28
Patrick Differ
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Bingo.
I knew y'all had something on it.
Thanks!

Patrick
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
drhackenbush
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You're welcome!
Also, if you can find 'em, the book & video set, called "Expert At The Pitch Table" is all about pitching the Svengali Deck and my favorite, the Wonder Mouse. Also, The booklet, "One Pitch Is Worth A Thousand Words" by Barry Govan details how you can make your own Svengali Decks (if you want to spend the money & time) to sell.
Bill Palmer
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The Svengali Deck was invented by Burling Hull. He copyrighted the deck in 1909, calling it "The Cards Mysterious." It was the world's first copyrighted card trick, according to his book The Edison of Magic and his Incredible Creations. There was just one problem. Copyright doesn't apply to the thing that Burling invented. It was knocked off almost immediately by various people, and called the Svengali Deck. If Burling had been paid a nickel for every one of these that was sold, he would not have died in a little flat in DeLand, Florida.
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DonDriver
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Bill Palmer is right on (as he always is) Burling Hull invented the Svengali deck in 1904 as a forceing deck for magicians only.I understand he was 16 at the time.
As for the Svengali pitch,David Walker says a pitchman named Micky McDougal came up with the pitch as we know it today. (Not sure of the year).
I've been pitching them for over 20 years now. I just got back from the Wisconsin State Fair working with David Walker.I haven't worked with David in 12 years...it was a real treat for me.
Check out my site http://www.dondriver.tk
Have a good one,
Don
sethb
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Just curious Bill -- when you say that "copyright doesn't apply to the thing that Burling Hull invented," does that mean he should have patented it instead? SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Bill Palmer
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Exactly. Copyright applies only to graphics, written word, audio, music, movie and videos. It does not apply to techniques, systems or methods.

All his copyright protected was his instructions.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
magicHart
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My goodness......I'm fairly sure that no one has an exact number on this, but would it be safe to assume that the Svengali Deck is by far, the best selling trick of all time?
sethb
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Well, you might just be right. I demo and sell several different pocket tricks at street fairs and craft shows, and the Svengali Deck usually outsells them all. The decks have been sold by S.S. Adams, D. Robbins and others for years. When Marshall Brodien sold his "magic cards" on TV in the 1960's and 70's, FUN, Inc. (Royal Magic) sold zillions of Svengali decks.

The Svengali Deck was one of my first magic tricks over 40 years ago, and I remember how amazing it seemed at the time. Although I'm not a big fan of gaffed decks, I must admit that it does enable you to perform some very amazing card tricks with a minimum of practice. The catch is that the deck is not examinable, but of course, there are ways to eliminate that problem once you read a few other magic books. I think it's a good way to introduce someone to magic at a very low price. If their interest is piqued, they can start working on some real card sleights and other effects. SETHB
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Slim King
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He died in Deland Florida? That's right around here. What's the story on that?
Dave
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Bill Palmer
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It was in 1982. Bev Bergeron, who was Burling's best friend, decided to go to a magic convention. Burling told him that if Bev went, he (Burling) would die. Bev didn't believe it. He went. When he got back home, Burling was dead.

He had willed himself to die.

Interesting accomplishment.

If you don't believe me, e-mail Bev Bergeron.
"The Swatter"

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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2011-05-14 20:19, Bill Palmer wrote:...
He had willed himself to die.

Interesting accomplishment...

Impressive effect - but like the Daffy Duck routine - can only be done once.

And that's the long and short of it.

(sorry, still queasy about the matter as it's gonna be a tough one to clean up the literature on that deck and the matter of taking tricks from sixteen year olds.)
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bill Palmer
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Although I didn't know Burling Hull all that well, I did meet him in 1980, and I had a chance to spend some time with him. He was a very interesting fellow. Like a lot of people, I used to call him "Hurling Bull," but after that meeting with him, I will never do that again. He was a genius -- no doubt about it.

However, Burling could really get up your nostril if he decided to go for it. This is somewhat conjectural, but I think he may have been approached by one of the magic companies to purchase the rights to the deck. He may have been under the impression that he could make more money from it by manufacturing and selling them himself.

A sixteen year old who has just invented and copyrighted a trick deck can be a real pain in the ace. I can just see him telling someone -- "Go ahead, just make one, make a dozen. I copyrighted the trick. I'll SUE you." Some people don't take well to that kind of thing.

No evidence one way or the other, mind you. Just sayin'. It might be good to contact Bergeron about this one.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
eatonmagic
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I know that between all 3 of our stores (Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and St. Augustine) we sell close to 10,000 decks per month! Our pitch is pretty solid. I have to talk to Bev down here about this story. He ALWAYS has great stories : )
Bill Palmer
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WOW!!! If I had a nickel for every nickel I had...
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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