Words for Wizards—a useful book at Hogwarts, perhaps

Words for Wizards cover 001Sometimes wizards—that is, magicians— don’t have the right patter to accompany their tricks. This is where George Schulte comes in. His Words for Wizards(G. F. Schulte, Chicago 1924), which we unearthed in a pile of ephemera at Jot HQ, is a guide to what could be said as the rabbit is pulled out of a hat or knots disappear from a handkerchief. What isn’t mentioned is how unimpressed members of an audience hearing this patter might be if they’d heard the same words from other magicians who’d also used Mr Schulte’s book.

If we want custom-made material we must turn to the back of his book, where we find Schulte’s own advertisement.


Written to order, for any magical effect or illusion. Humorous or serious patter, specially arranged, from one act to a complete show, at one dollar per item and up.


Magical entertainers who “SAY IT WITH LAUGHS” add additional amusement to their entertainment. If you are interested in improving your program, you may have further particulars by writing to

                                       GEORGE SCHULTE

4263 Lincoln Avenue                                             Chicago, Illinois


“ Vaudeville Monologues”       “Humorous Character Stories”

And Comic Chatter specially written for any act, club and stage entertainers looking for new “ LAUGH LINES” and “NEW IDEAS” will find that we have many valuable suggestions to offer them.

           All letters receive a prompt reply. Prices are regulated by the grade of material desired. If you are interested in this particular style of entertaining, write to…. Continue reading

Stephen Pribil—the Invisibility Man

Here are three photographs out of a possible six from the photo-archive of the famous newspaper  El Mundo of Argentina. Interestingly, they are stamped 1st April 1935. Now, I don’t know if the Spanish, or indeed the Argentinians, reserve the 1st of April for tricks, leg-pulls, spoofs, scams or other deceptions, but if Dr Pribil, a Hungarian oculist, was deliberately playing a trick on journalists with his demonstration of ‘Invisibility  Rays’, then he certainly went to a lot of trouble to do it.

According to the typewritten labels on the back of each photograph Pribil placed three objects—a teddy bear, a bronze statuette and an opaque china vase -- in his apparatus—basically a wooden box fronted by a picture frame behind which is a sort of slated affair. Out of the back of this box electric cables are connected to a supply. Unfortunately, the two photos showing how the objects gradually fade away are missing, but the last photo does show that all the objects have now disappeared.’ They are in the same place, perfectly tangible ‘, the caption points out, ‘but are completely invisible’.

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I once met….Uri Geller

Sent in by a supporter of Jot for which many thanks...

It was in the spring of 2005 that I was dispatched to interview the great Spoon Bender himself. His assistant had given me an address in Sonning-on-Thames, that home of the more discerning glitterati. I found his place quite by chance. Well, you could hardly miss it. Glimpsed through trees at the end of a longish drive was a large and modern mansion of the Bishops Avenue School of architecture, complete with portico. There was also a pair of huge metal (unbent) gates flanked by brick pillars, one of which incorporated the inevitable entry phone. I phoned through, the gates opened slowly, and I started down the drive towards the house.

Geller himself answered the door--a slim, smiling figure with neat bouffant hair, greying slightly. He must have been in his late fifties but retained his boyish good looks. He guided me across the marble floor of an atrium that wouldn’t have disgraced the palace of a Hollywood A-lister. I looked for signs of spoons and there they were, all the cutlery he had deformed over the thirty or more years of his career, drooping from a dozen or more spray-painted skeletons of trees ranged around the walls in a parody of Santa’s grotto.

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