Al Baker's Pet Secrets

Al Baker's Pet Secrets

Step into the enchanting world of magic with Al Baker's Pet Secrets, what I believe to be a timeless gem that has provided magicians with professional-level magic insights for over seven decades. Authored by the legendary magician Al Baker, this book is a treasure trove of secrets, cleverly woven into eight captivating chapters.

Originally published in 1951, this book has stood the test of time and remains a highly sought-after collectible among magic enthusiasts (at least, according to after-market prices). While it assumes a basic understanding of magic principles, the book caters to a range of skill levels, making it an invaluable resource for budding magicians and seasoned professionals alike.

Within its 111 pages, you'll discover a cornucopia of magic wonders, each chapter delving into a different magic domain. From the intriguing areas of Hair Magic, Thread Magic, and Rope Magic to the timeless allure of Card Magic, Mental Magic, and Money Magic, Al Baker's creativity shines through in every detail. He even ventures into magic from other worlds with a touch of spiritualism.

The book's charm lies not only in its comprehensive content but also in its vintage aesthetic. With simple and yet detaield black and white illustrations throughout its pages, Al Baker's Pet Secrets takes you on a journey through the way Baker approached magic. While multiple illustrations often grace a single page, they really do enhance the learning experience, providing valuable visual cues for each effect.

For card magic enthusiasts, this book offers a collection of hard-hitting routines that will leave your audience spellbound. I kind of want to say that Al Baker's presentations breathe new life into traditional card tricks, but honestly these are a different level entirely -- and, given their age, they have been encased in history for some time now. Overall, they definitely show his unique perspective and inventive approach. Be prepared to invest time and effort into mastering these routines, as some demand meticulous upfront preparation and the creation of custom decks. Yet, the effort is well worth the astonishing impact these tricks create.

While this book clearly extends beyond the realm of card magic, if you're familiar with my work then you'll know that I don't dabble too much outside of that realm myself. I did skim all of the other tricks in the book and they look neat, but in my opinion the non-card sections feel slightly dated. However, don't dismiss them entirely, as I could be entirely wrong or maybe they'll still be able to provide inspiration to you for your performances.

Overall, Al Baker's Pet Secrets is a classic magic book that exudes a certain type of timeless charm. Whether you're a novice seeking to expand your magical repertoire or an experienced performer searching for tried-and-true inspiration, this book is an essential addition to your library. Let Al Baker be your guide as you unlock the secrets of the arcane arts, and join a community of magicians that spans generations.

Contents of Al Baker's Pet Secrets

Foreword by Dai Vernon

Introduction by Jean Hugard

1: Hair Magic

  • Hair Secrets
  • The Baker General Utility Hook-Up
  • The Double-Ended Hook-up
  • Double-Breasted Hook-up
  • The Balancing Card
  • The Card From the Hat
  • The Deck That Cuts Itself
  • The Simplex Rising Cards
  • The Rising Ring
  • The Grandfather Clock Trick
  • Miscellaneous Hair Tricks

2: Thread Magic

  • The Al Baker Arabian Beads
  • Floating Glass of Milk
  • The Hindu Thread Trick
  • Coin Production

3: Rope Magic

  • The Instantaneous Visible Restoration
  • The Al Baker Lightning Pull
  • The Doctor Cuts a Rope
  • Ring and Tape Penetration
  • Variation on Stretching a Rope

4: Card Magic

  • The Jet-Propelled Card
  • Double Impossibility
  • Color Flight
  • The Spectator Does the Trick
  • The Impossible Force
  • The Baker "Readers"
  • Mental Discernment
  • The Lie Detector
  • Long-Distance Telepathy
  • The Clairvoyant Spectator
  • How To Force a Card
  • The Card Between Glass Plates (Baker Improvement)
  • Jumbo Switch
  • Giant Gambling

5: Mental Magic

  • Double Thought
  • One-Man Billet Reading
  • The Baker Billet Switch
  • Center Tear Tip
  • Mental Masterpiece
  • The Telepathic Miracle

6: Money Magic

  • The Baker Bill Tear
  • The Stack of Quarters (New Method)
  • The Vanishing Quarter
  • Fun With the Money-Making Machine
  • Dime and Penny Gag
  • The Bill in the Borrowed Lemon

7: Magic From Another World

  • The Baker Spirit Photo
  • Magnetisn't

8: Various Magic

  • The Baker Chewing Gum Trick
  • Finesse With the Dye Tube
  • The Vanishing Glass of Water
  • Salt Flight
  • Silk Transportation
  • Sugar Cube Vanish
  • Goldfish Production
  • Bar Trick Fooler
  • Egg Finale
  • Rabbit Production
  • The Obedient Snake
  • The Short Highball
This book is written by and featuring the work of Al Baker. It includes illustrations by Clayton Rawson. Mine is a hardcover copy published in 1951 by Carl W. Jones, also printed in 1951 (second edition) with a total of 111 pages.