Thursday, April 2, 2020

Games and Magic!

Hi, Kit Morgan here and today I want to talk about games you could find in catalogs in the nineteenth century. With everything going on right now in the world, folks are returning to the love of board games, puzzles, and even magic tricks. Back in the nineteenth century, these forms of entertainment were all a lot of folks had. Magic tricks were very popular and you could find all sorts of magic apparatus and things in popular catalogs of the day. Magic fans, boxes, hats, everything the budding magician could think of was offered.

In Peck & Snyder's catalog from 1886, the "Magic" section was preceded by Hints to Amateur Conjurers. Things like: He must practice talking a good deal, by the way of apparently explaining his tricks, but in reality to confuse the audience. Let him be as funny as he can. He must always keep cool.

And then: When he makes a mistake or meets with an accident, he must, instead of being unnerved by it, pretend that it was just what he intended, and so turn it to his advantage. And of course to do this ...
He must keep his audience at a respectful distance. 
He must never hurry over anything, but MAKE HASTE SLOWLY.
A trick, however successfully performed, should never be repeated before the same audience.

And of course, our stuff is better than their stuff claim: We would advise our patrons against buying cheap and very inferior grades of goods, of which the market is flooded. The prices are but a little lower than our own; and will not work perfectly after a few times using. Our goods are of English, French and German make and are selected by our Mr. Peck, who visits Europe every year to purchase new goods and novelties.

Considering some of the fun things they had in their catalog, I'll bet this was true! So if you have some good old fashioned games around the house or your very own amateur magician, then take time to enjoy them. They still bring just as much joy today as they did back then.

Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. We had a priest who was a very good magician. If he ever wanted to leave the church, he would be able to make a living that way. I was really surprised at the variety of tricks and his ability with the difficult ones. I got books on magic tricks and some small tricks for our grandson, but he was never really interested.