Hoffmann, Professor: Modern Magic
©1876 1st edition, Routledge; 1st US edition, 1882, Routledge; etc.
Hardbound, 563 pages
Available as an e-book from Lybrary.com
Modern Magic
Image courtesy Lybrary.com

Comments (Lybrary.com): "Every generation a magician comes along, whose intention is to record magic in an encyclopedic fashion. Professor Hoffmann was the first in recorded history to attempt such a feat with his trilogy Modern Magic, More Magic, and Later Magic. Certainly many magic books have been published before him, mostly copying from each other. But none reaches the depth and breadth of Prof. Hoffmann's work. The material in these three books records the state of the art of magic in the late 19th century. Today we know more tricks and we have also refined our techniques and methods. But it is astounding how much was already known at that time. Reading carefully you will discover several clever methods which have been forgotten or have fallen out of fashion with today's popular magicians. If you really want to fool your magic friends the next time, read this book and perform one of its many not so well known secrets."

Note: also available in editions by Dover Publications and in the Public Domain.


1 Chapter I: Introduction
1 Introductory Observations: notes on performing magic
4 The Magic Wand: Its use to the magician
5 The Magician's Table: the basic table for presentation
8 The Magician's Dress: designs (pockets, etc.) to aid the performer

11 Chapter II: General Principles of Sleight-of-Hand Applicable to Card Tricks
11 The Cards : recommends using a pack of only 32 cards as the whole pack is "inconvenient"
12 To Make the Pass: 7 methods described
21 To Force a Card: The classic force, and use of a forcing deck
23 To Make a False Shuffle: keeping a group of cards on top, a single card on top, and four methods to keep the whole deck (or most of it) in order
27 To Palm a Card: and glimpsing at the same time
27 To Ruffle the Cards: a simple flourish
28 To Change a Card: exchanging with the top card; bottom card for the top card; four more methods
34 To Get Sight of a Drawn Card: 2 methods
35 To Slip a Card: slipping top card to the lower packet
36 To Draw Back a Card: the glide
37 To Turn Over the Pack: dealing from both sides of the pack
37 To Spring the Cards from one Hand to the Other: flourish
38 To Throw a Card: up to 60 feet!
39 The Bridge: Explained

42 Chapter III: Card Tricks With Ordinary Cards and Not Requiring Sleight of Hand
42 Simple Modes of Discovering a Given Card: three methods
44 Various Modes of Disclosing a Discovered Card: four methods
46 To Make a Card Vanish from the Pack, and be found in a Person's Pocket: requires good misdirection!
47 To place the Four Kings in different parts of the Pack, and to bring them together by a simple Cut
48 The Four Kings being placed under the Hand of one Person, and the Four Sevens under the Hand of Another, to make them Change Places at Command
49 Four Packets of Cards having been formed face downwards on the Table, to discover the Total Value of the Undermost Cards
50 To Name all the Cards of the Pack in Succession: stacked deck
51 The Cards being Cut, to tell whether the Number Cut is Odd or Even: stacked deck
51 The Whist Trick To deal yourself all the Trumps (*see also page* 119): stacked deck
52 To allow a Person to think of a Card, and to make that Card appear at such Number in the Pack as another Person shall Name
53 The Cards revealed by the Looking-glass: a gag; magician "mysteriously" reveals cards with only the back facing him
53 To Guess Four Cards thought of by Different Persons
54 The Pairs Re-paired: magician determines two cards selected
55 The Magic Triplets: another version
55 Another Mode of Discovering a Card thought of: based on dealing order
56 To Guess, by the aid of a Passage of Poetry or Prose, such one of Sixteen Cards as, in your Absence, has been Touched or Selected by the Company
57 To Detect, without Confederacy, which of Four Cards has been Turned Round in your Absence
58 To Arrange Twelve Cards in Rows in such a manner that they will Count Four in every Direction: a puzzle
58 To Place the Aces and Court Cards in Four Rows, in such a manner that neither Horizontally nor Perpendicularly shall there be in either Row two Cards alike, either in Suit or Value
59 The Congress of Court Cards: King, Queen, and Knave of each suit gather together

60 Chapter IV: Tricks Involving Sleight-Of-Hand, or The Use of Specially Prepared Cards
60 The Long Card:  also the wide card, and the tapered deck
62 Card having been Chosen and Returned, and the Pack Shuffled, to produce the Chosen Card instantly in various ways: using the tapered deck or long card
62 To Cut at the Chosen Card:
62 To Let all the Cards fall, save the One Chosen
62 To Pick out the Card, the Pack being placed in a Person's Pocket
63 To Fling the Pack in the Air, and Catch the Chosen Card
63 To Change a Card drawn hap-hazard to the Chosen Card
65 To Divide the Pack into several Packets on the Table, allowing the Company to stop you at any Moment, and to cause the Top Card of the Heap last made to Change into the Chosen Card
66 To Teach the Company a Trick which they Learn without Difficulty; then to allow them to Succeed or cause them to Fail at your Pleasure
69 To Distinguish the Court Cards by Touch: gimmicked cards
70 To Name any Number of Cards in Succession without Seeing Them: two methods
71 To Make Four Cards change from Eights to Twos, from Black to Red, etc: Uses "Fa-Ko" style gimmicked cards
73 A Card having been Drawn and Returned, and the Pack Shuffled, to make it Appear at such Number as the Company choose
76 The "Three Card" Trick: Three Card Monte, only vaguely described, along with an outline of how the street hustle is performed
77 To Nail a Chosen Card to the Wall: short description of the card on the wall
77 The Inseparable Sevens: depends on cards that have pips, but not indexes
79 The Inseparable Aces: another variation
80 Having placed the Four Aces in different positions in the Pack, to make the two Black change places with the two Red ones, and finally to bring all Four together in the Middle of the Pack
83 A Card having been thought of, to make such Card Vanish from the Pack, and be Discovered wherever the Performer pleases
84 To cause a Number of Cards to Multiply invisibly in a Person's keeping
86 The Pack being divided into two Portions, placed in the keeping of two different Persons, to make Three Cards pass invisibly from the One to the Other
87 To allow several Persons each to draw a Card, and the Pack having been Shuffled, to make another Card drawn haphazard change successively into each of those first chosen
90 To make Four Aces change to Four Kings, and Four Kings to Four Aces
91 Having made Four Packets of Cards with an Ace at the bottom of each, to bring all Four Aces into whichever Packet the Company may choose
93 To Change the Four Aces, held tightly by a Person, into Four Indifferent Cards
97 The Shower of Aces: The whole deck turns into Aces
99 Several Persons having each drawn Two Cards, which have been Returned and Shuffled, to make each Couple appear in Succession, one at the top and the other at the bottom of the Pack
101 To make Two Cards, each firmly held by a different Person, change places
102 To change Four Cards, drawn haphazard, and placed on the Table, into Cards of the same Value as a Single Card subsequently chosen by one of the Spectators
103 Two Heaps of Cards, unequal in Number, being placed upon the Table, to predict beforehand which of the two the Company will choose
104 A Row of Cards being placed Face Downwards on the Table, to indicate, by turning up one of them, how many of such Cards have during your absence been transferred from one end of the Row to the other
106 Several Cards having been freely chosen by the Company, Returned and Shuffled, and the Pack placed in a Person's Pocket, to make such Person draw out one by one the chosen Cards
108 The Cards having been freely Shuffled, and cut into three or four Heaps, to name the top Card of each Heap
108 To allow a Person secretly to think of a Card, and, dividing the Pack into three Heaps, to cause the Card thought of to appear in whichever Heap the Company may choose
110 To allow a Person secretly to think of a Card, and, even before such Card is named, to select it from the Pack, and place it singly upon the Table
111 A Card having been secretly thought of by one of the Audience, to place two Indifferent Cards upon the Table, and to change such one of them as the 111 Audience may select into the Card thought of
114 A Card having been Drawn and Returned, and the Pack shuffled, to divide the Pack into several Heaps on the Table, and to cause the Drawn Card to appear in such Heap as the Company may choose
115 To change a Drawn Card into the Portraits of several of the Company in succession
116 A Card having been Drawn and Returned, and the Pack shuffled, to place on the Table six Rows of six Cards each, and to discover the chosen Card by a throw of the Dice
117 A Card having been withdrawn and replaced, to call it from the Pack, and to make it come to you of its own accord: Early form of IT!
118 Mode of Preparing specially adhesive Wax for Conjuring Purposes
119 The Whist Trick (Improved Method) To deal yourself all the Trumps, the three other Players holding the usual mixed Hands

121 Chapter V: Card Tricks Requiring Special Apparatus
121 The Magic Sword A Card being drawn and replaced, and the Pack flung in the Air, to catch the chosen Card on the point of the Sword: Uses specially prepared Sword
123 The Rising Cards Several Cards having been drawn, returned, and shuffled, to make them rise spontaneously from the Pack: Pack is placed in special holder; some alternative approaches are presented.
130 The Jumping Cards Two or three Cards having been drawn, returned, and shuffled, to make them jump out of the Pack. Similar mechanism as above.
132 To make a Card stand upright by itself on the Table: simple gag effect
134 "Changing" Card-boxes, and Tricks performed with them: Box and flap described, general approach to effects
137 The Mechanical Card-box: A more intricate box described
138 The "Card and Bird Box": Similar box to above
139 The Card Tripod: A special table made to change a card
139 The "Torn Card": A corner is torn of a card and restored. Uses an interesting mechanical card
142 Mechanical Changing Cards: Sliding cards allow the face to change, flap cards

146 Chapter VI: Principles of Sleight of Hand More Especially Applicable to Coin Tricks
146 Palming
147 Passes: Eight "passes" described for apparently transferring a coin from hand to hand while retaining it, with an essay on presentation at the end
157 Changes: five approaches described for changing one coin into another

159 Chapter VII Tricks With Coin Without Apparatus
159 A Quarter being spun upon the Table, to tell blindfold whether it falls head or tail upwards. Uses a notched coin.
160 Odd or Even, or the Mysterious Addition: Mathematical stunt
161 To change a Quarter into a Penny, back again, and then to pass the same invisibly into the Pocket of the Owner: pure sleight of hand
163 To make a marked Quarter and Penny, wrapped in separate Handkerchiefs, change places at Command: sleight of hand with variation
164 To make two marked Coins, wrapped in separate Handkerchiefs, come together in one of them: uses special handkerchief fold
168 To pull Four Quarters or Half-crowns through a Handkerchief:
170 To pass a marked Quarter (or Half-crown) into the Centre of two Oranges in succession: prepared oranges
172 The Flying Money To make a Coin pass invisibly from the one Hand to the other, and finally through the Table: a bit of wax goes a long way...
175 To rub One Sixpence into Three: to be performed seated
176 The Multiplication of Money: magician vanishes three coins, they appear with other coins held by a spectator. Also describes the Coin Tray gimmick
178 To Make a Marked Sixpence vanish from a Handkerchief, and be found in the Centre of an Apple or Orange previously examined: more wax use
180 The Traveling Counters: metal counters held by the spectator become welded together
181 The Wandering Sixpence: a sixpence appears under whichever card the magician desires

182 Chapter VIII: Tricks With Coin Requiring Special Apparatus
182 The Heads and Tails Trick: use for your double headed coin; also a bit of sleeving
183 The Magic Cover and Vanishing Halfpence: The Cap and Pence or Stack of Quarters
185 The Animated Coin, which answers Questions, etc: various approaches described
187 The Vanishing Halfpenny Box: The Coin Cup, or One Cup and Coin described. A coin vanishes and reappears in the box.
189 The Rattle Box: a coin is heard rattling in a box even though it has vanished
190 The Pepper-box: another box for vanishing a coin. Cannot withstand close inspection
191 The Brass Money-box: yet another box
192 The Brass Box, known as the "Plug-box": superior box for the vanish, reproduction, or exchange of coins
194 The Handkerchief for Vanishing Money: gimmicked handkerchief
195 The Demon Handkerchief: utility handkerchief for vanishing small items
195 The Davenport Cabinet: items placed in the cabinet vanish
197 The Nest of Boxes: coin or other small object is found in a nest of boxes
198 The Ball of Berlin Wool: coin is found in the middle of a ball of yarn
199 The Glass Goblet and Cover: coins vanished and appear audibly in a glass goblet
200 The Glass without Cover: similar glass to above, but gimmicked at the bottom
202 The Miraculous Casket: coins vanish one at a time from a clever mechanical box
203 The Half-Crown or Quarter Wand: a coin appears at the end of a wand
205 The Shower of Money: Miser's dream described, and the Coin Slide delivery gimmick
208 The Vanishing Plate, or Salver: coins vanish as taken up from a clever plate
210 The "Changing" Plate: mechanical plates to exchange coins
211 The Tray of Proteus: change, add, subtract or vanish coins

213 Chapter IX: Tricks With Watches
213 To Indicate on the Dial of a Watch the Hour secretly thought of by any of the Company: uses arithmetic principles
214 To Bend a Borrowed Watch Backwards and Forwards: optical illusion stunt
215 The Watch-mortar and the Magic Pistol: a watch is crushed in a mortar, the parts are assembled in a handkerchief and shot from a pistol, where the watch is restored.
217 The "Snuff-box Vase": appearance, disappearance, or transformation of small objects
219 The "Watch Box": a watch can be vanished from this clever box
220 The "Watch Target": a pistol is shot at this mechanical target, and the previously destroyed watch appears on the target
222 The Mesmerized Watch (To Make any Watch a Repeater): A pocketwatch sounds a bell in response to questions

225 Chapter X Tricks With Rings
225 The Flying Ring: a ring vanished in a paper fold is found elsewhere
227 To Pass a Ring from the one Hand to either Finger of the other Hand: Uses a body gimmick
228 To Pass a Ring through a Pocket-handkerchief: small gimmick
228 To Pass a Ring through the Table: using a special glass and handkerchief
230 To Pass a Ring invisibly upon the Middle of a Wooden Wand, the Ends being held by two of the Spectators: ring on wand effect
231 The Magic Ball and Rings: three borrowed rings vanish from a cabinet and are found on a special rod
233 To Pass a Borrowed Ring into an Egg: climax to a ring routine
234 The Magic Rose: the vanished ring is found in a mechanical rose

236 Chapter XI: Tricks with Handkerchiefs
236 Introductory Remarks
237 The Handkerchief that cannot be Tied in a Knot: a dissolving knot
237 The Handkerchief that will not Burn: a borrowed handkerchief is passed through a flame without burning
238 The Vanishing Knots: how to make dissolving knots
240 To Exchange a borrowed Handkerchief for a Substitute: making a switch (must be wearing a coat)
241 The Locked and Corded Box, and the Washerwoman's Bottle: effect using the commercial "Washerwoman's Bottle" that can effect a switch
245 The Reversibel Canister: a clever "bottle" that has two compartments for switching
246 The Burning Globe: a brass canister for switching
246 The Transformed Handkerchief: a handkerchief is borrowed, ends up torn, shot into a lemon, burned and restored
249 The Handkerchief cut up, burnt, and finally found in a Candle: with help of the stage hand
251 The Shower of Sweets: candy appears on a plate; also the description of a special wand that could be used
254 The Feathers from an Empty Handkerchief: fifteen to twenty plumes are produced from a handkerchief
256 The Flying Plume: a feather plume transposes from a tube to a shawl
258 The Magic Laundry:
260 The Egg and the Handkerchief
263 The "Hand-Box," for Vanishing a Handkerchief

265 Chapter XII Tricks with Dominoes and Dice
265 To Arrange a Row of Dominoes face downwards on the Table, and on returning to the Room to turn up a Domino whose points shall indicate how many have been moved in your absence
267 To Allow any Person in your absence to arrange the Dominoes in a Row, face downwards, and on your return to name blindfold, or without entering the Room, the end numbers of the Row
268 To Change, invisibly, the Numbers shown on either Face of a Pair of Dice
269 To Name, without seeing them, the Points of a Pair of Dice

271 Chapter XIII The Cups and Balls
271 Introductory Remarks
273 Principles of Sleight-of-hand applicable to Ball Tricks To Palm the Ball
274 To Reproduce the Palmed Ball at the End of the Fingers
275 To Secretly Introduce the Palmed Ball under the Cup
276 To Simulate the Action of Placing a Ball under a Cup
276 To Produce a Ball from the Wand
277 To Return a Ball into the Wand
277 To Pass one Cup through Another
278 Burlesque Address to the Spectators
279 Pass I Having Placed a Ball under each Cup, to draw it out again without Lifting the Cup
281 Pass II To make a Ball Travel invisibly from Cup to Cup
282 Pass III Having placed a Ball under each of the end Cups, to make them pass successively under the Middle Cup
283 Pass IV Having placed two Balls under the Middle Cup, to make them pass under the two Outer Ones
283 Pass V To pass three Balls in succession under One Cup
284 Pass VI To place three Balls one after the other upon the top of one of the Cups, and to make them fall through the Cup on to the Table
285 Pass VII To pass three Balls in succession upwards through the Table into one of the Cups
286 Pass VIII To pass two Balls in succession from one Cup to another without touching them
286 Pass IX To make three Balls in succession pass under the Middle Cup
287 Pass X The "Multiplication" Pass
288 Pass XI To Transform the Small Balls to Larger Ones
289 Pass XII To again Transform the Balls to still Larger Ones

293 Chapter XIV Ball Tricks Requiring Special Apparatus. Further principles of Sleight-of-hand applicable to Ball Tricks
293 To Palm a large Ball
294 To Vanish a Large Ball with the aid of the Table
295 The Ball Box
296 The Red-and-Black-Ball Vases
298 Morison's Pill-box
300 The Ball which changes to a Rose
301 The Obedient Ball

304 Chapter XV Hat Tricks
304 The Cannon-balls in the Hat
307 Multiplying Balls
308 The "Hundred Goblets" from a Hat
309 A Dozen Babies from a Hat
309 The Magic Reticules
310 The Drums from the Hat
311 The Birdcages from the Hat
312 The Cake (or Pudding) in the Hat
313 The Welsh Rabbit

317 Chapter XVI Miscellaneous Tricks
317 The Cut String Restored
320 My Grandmother's Necklace
321 The "Bonus Genius," or Vanishing Doll
323 The Dancing Sailor
324 The Bottle Imps
325 The Vanishing Gloves
326 The Egg Bag
329 To Produce Eggs from a Person's Mouth
330 The Pillars of Solomon, and the Magic Bradawi
333 The Magic Coffers
335 The Bran and Orange Trick
337 The Rice and Orange Trick
341 The Magic Whistle
342 The Magic Mill
343 Pieces of Apparatus of General Utility
343 The Drawer-Box
346 The Dissecting Drawer-Box
347 The Changing Card-Drawer
348 Changing Caddies
351 The Magic Vase and Caddy
355 The Cover, to pick up and replace any Article
356 The Changing Cover
358 The Changing Ladle
360 The Cone, or Skittle
364 The Cone and Bouquet
367 The Flying Glass of Water
371 The Bowls of Water and Bowls of Fire produced from a Shawl
372 The Bowl of Ink changed to clear Water, with Gold Fish swimming in it
373 The Inexhaustible Bottle
376 The Bottle and Ribbons
377 The New Pyramids of Egypt, or Wine and Water Trick
379 The Mysterious Funnel
380 The Box of Bran transformed to a Bottle of Wine
382 The Bran Bottle
383 The Bran Glass
384 To Fire Borrowed Rings from a Pistol, and make them Pass into a Goblet Filled with Bran and covered with a Handkerchief, the Bran disappearing, and being found elsewhere
385 The Domino-Box (sometimes called the Glove-Box)
388 The Coffee Trick
391 The Inexhaustible Box
393 The Japanese Inexhaustible Boxes
395 The Feast of Lanterns
397 The Butterfly Trick
398 The Wizard's Omelet
400 The Rose in the Glass Vase
401 The Chinese Rings
409 The Charmed Bullet
411 The Birth of Flowers
416 The Mysterious Salver
419 The Vanishing Die
420 The Die Dissolving in a Pocket Handkerchief
423 The Die and Orange
424 The Vanishing Canary Bird and Cage
426 The Crystal Balls
432 The Flags of all Nations
433 The Umbrella Trick
435 The "Passe-Passe" Trick

437 Chapter XVII Stage Tricks
437 The Tables in use in Stage Tricks
437 The "Plain" Trap
438 The "Wrist" or "Pressure" Trap
441 The "Rabbit" or "Dove" Trap
442 "Changing" Traps
445 The "Money" Trap
447 "Pistons" (for working mechanical apparatus)
449 "Bellows" Tables
442 The Rabbit Trick
454 The Fairy Star
457 The Card Bouquet
458 The Demon's Head
463 The Magic Picture Frame
465 The Flying Watches and the Broken Plate
467 The Magic Picture and the Chosen Cards
468 The Magic Portfolio
469 The Glove Column
470 The Vanishing Pocket-handkerchief, found in a Candle
471 The Sphinx
475 The Cabinet of Proteus
477 The Indian Basket Trick
480 Electrical Tricks
482 The Light and Heavy Chest
485 Spirit-Rapping
486 The Magic Bell
487 The Crystal Cash Box
492 The Magic Drum
495 The Aerial Suspension

502 Chapter XVII Concluding Observations
502 Hints as to Working up Tricks
505 Arrangement of Programme
508 Stage Arrangements
510 Parting Counsels

515 Appendix
515 Chapter I
515 Introductory

522 Chapter II Kempelen: Kempelen's Speaking Figure
522 Its Construction
524 Houdin
524 His Talking Figure
524 The Magic Harlequin and its Construction
526 The Magic Clock
526 The Performing Clown
526 The Cook of the Palais Royal
527 The Orange and Rose Trees
528 Electric Bell and Drum
528 Suspension in the Air

530 Chapter III Theodin
530 Theodin
530 Robin and Anderson
530 The Magic Windmill
531 Anderson's Old Man
531 Col Stodare's Living Head
532 Pepper and Tobin
532 Proteus; or, We're Here and Not Here
534 Fatima

536 Chapter IV Automata: Psycho
536 Automaton of Messrs Maskelyne and Cooke
536 Psycho and its Imitators
539 Zoe
540 Fanfare

542 Chapter V Marionettes
542 Taking a Man to Pieces
543 The Living Marionettes

545 Chapter VI Clairvoyance
545 Clairvoyance, or Second Sight
546 The Clairvoyance of the Superstitious Ages and the Clairvoyance of the Day
547 Questions and Answers
549 The Reading of Concealed Writing
550 The Addition of Unseen Figures

551 Chapter VII Spiritualism
551 Spiritualism
552 Mediums and their Pretences
552 Their Tests
552 Various Tying Tests
553 The Sealed Accordion
554 Floating in the Air
555 Floating Tambourines, Guitars, etc
555 The Spiritual Musical Box
556 Writing on the Ceiling
556 Invisible Writing
557 The Floating Table, etc

558 Chapter VIII Parlor Magic
558 Parlor Magic
559 A Surprise
559 Indian Sand Trick
560 The "Q" Trick
560 The Bleeding Thumb
560 The Marked Florin in Oranges
561 The Chinese Pictures
562 Bautier's Great Ink-and-Water Trick
563 Carrying Fire in the Hands