Three Commercial Edward G. Brown Tricks

By Andi Gladwin - Wednesday, April 17, 2019


When I first announced that I had been working on a project of Edward G. Brown's magic, a number of friends asked me the same question: how can magic from the 1930s and 40s be relevant today? The answer is that you'd be surprised! The book has seventeen effects and most of them have stood the test of time. Don't believe me? Here are three tricks that stand out as being performable in a walkaround magic environment:

Card Magic of Edward G. Brown

The Spelling Trick: If you have seen David Williamson perform his hilarious spelling trick, "He Who Spelt It, Dealt It" (of which this routine shares many similarities), you'll immediately recgonise that this trick can be entertaining and fascinating. Performers such as Paul Daniels and Wayne Dobson have made the effect a feature piece of their performances. Even as early as the 1930s, Brown recognised that by adding a surprise ending, it would make it a less linear, and more commercial piece.

The Brown Version of the Three Card Trick - Over the last two decades, "Flat Monte" style effects have become popular. Routines such as Scott Robinson's "Sucker Monte" (from The Trapdoor), and Garrett Thomas' "Stand-Up Monte" have made the plot accessible to modern magicians. Brown's handling may have been the first, and it's a strong modular multi-phased routine that will be well received.

The 12 Card Thought Transposition Brown's piece de resistance is one of the most impressive pieces of magic in my repertoire. I use it often from every environment imaginable; for two people, right up to two-thousand people. If this were published today, everyone would be doing it!

That's just three routines, but I could list more. Brown's "Poker Hand" is an original gambling demonstration that I have performed on occasion, and his "Three Chances" is one of the best versions of the Everywhere and Nowhere plot. But don't just take my word for it — I urge you to check out these routines, study them, and perform them!


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