Henry Hardin

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Henry Hardin

Cover of Sphinx (July 1908)
BornEdward A. Parsons
November 2, 1849
Hartford, Connecticut
DiedJanuary 5, 1929 (age 79)
New Haven, Connecticut

Henry Hardin (1849-1929), born Edward A. Parsons, was a musician and music teacher by profession in New Haven, Connecticut.


Hardin advertise and contributed to Mahatma and in July 1899 he started "Hardin's Column", in which the ideas of the Walsh Vanishing Cane is described. [1]

He is credited with inventing the Princess Card Trick in 1903 [2]). Other effects were described in a special issue of the Jinx No. 97, June 15, 1940, in which there is a biography written by Ted Annemann with the help of Rudolph Reimer. He also has a few effects in Tarbell Course in Magic books.

In the August 1899 issue of The Mahatma (V.3, No. 2), Henry Hardin describes what may be the first description of the Change Bag in print called The Plush Bag.

Hardin may also have been the very first to discover the fact that a card might be concealed in the top of a trousers' pocket when it was pulled out to show its emptiness, which he published in his "THE APPEARING CARD IN THE POCKET" manuscript. As Bart Whaley writes: "Henry Hardin popularized Stanyon's Top-of-Pocket Dodge in 1905.", it will be interesting to date Hardin's manuscript [3]

He invented many other tricks and became a dealer in New Haven as "Henry Hardin & Co". He was SAM member number 91.

According to Dai Vernon in his Vernon Touch column for Genii 1982 March, Hardin was the originator of the Living and Dead Test.



  1. HENRY HARDIN, "THE PRINCE OF IDEAS" John Henry Grossman, Magicol No. 92 (August 1989) & Mahatma, Vol. 3, no. 1, July 1899, page 261, The Trick of Enchantment
  2. Ad in Mahatma, 1903 December, page 68 & Ellis Stanyon's description in Stanyon's Magic, Vol. 5, No. 10, July 1905, page 79.
  3. Ellis Stanyon described this in Stanyon's Magic, Vol. 4, No. 1, November 1903, page 20 without attribution
  • The Sphinx, Vol. 27, No. 11, January 1929, Personal Mention – Prof. E. A. Parson passed away, page 516
  • Henry Hardin, Creator of Destined Magic in The Jinx, No. 97, June 15, 1940, page 595-600
  • The Conjuror’s Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 8, September 1945, Henry Hardin and His Magical Memoranda, page 22
  • M-U-M, Vol. 77, No. 6, November 1987, Ask the Doctor, by John Henry Grossman – Henry Hardin, page 16

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