Jack McMillen

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Jack McMillen

Jack McMillen doing his Plunger Card Rise for Ron Bauer, circa 1989
BornApril 19, 1911
Stockton,California
DiedFebruary 14, 1993 (age 81)
CategoriesBooks by Jack McMillen

Jack McMillen (1911-1993), an amateur magician, specialized in gambling demos and cards and coins.

Contents

Biography

In the 1940s, he was employed as a railroad agent as an undercover detective whose job it was to patrol the line for cardsharps and cheats.

In 1936 when Genii began publishing, he contributed many of his card effects.[1]

McMillen created the Plunger Principle for the Card Rise which along with other (credited and uncredited) items were published in Expert Card Technique.

He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Fellowship from the Academy of Magical Arts in 1991.[2]

The Plunger Principle

McMillen is best known as the originator of the Plunger Principle for the Rising Cards, which he used in his "J. M. Rising Card" and "Obedient Rising Cards."

"The J. M. Rising Card"

"The Obedient Rising Cards"

Publications

Jack McMillen by Michael Landes (2011)

According to Michael Landes, Jack McMillen had for several years considered writing a book about magic. The tremendous amount of work involved in putting together a short set of lecture notes (Sleights & Swindles) in 1981 changed his mind. Several years later, McMillen's good friend, Paul Chosse, suggested having Landes write the book. Landes started working on the project in 1989, but when McMillen passed away the next year, he dropped the idea. Six years later, he decided to resume working on the book, and finished it in 1998. It was not published until 2011, when Lybrary.com released it as an ebook, titled simply Jack McMillen. It is the largest and most complete collection of McMillen's work in print.

Sleights & Swindles (1981)

Sleights & Swindles is a set of lecture notes written by McMillen and self-published in 1981 for his lecture at The Magic Castle.

Contents:

  • "The Barbary Coast Scam"
  • "Shade Work"
  • "The Old Gambler"
  • "From Another Deck"
  • "The Voodoo Card Rise"
  • "Witchcraft Updated"
  • "Quicksilver"
  • "Coin, Ring, and Silk" (Senor Mardo)
  • "The San Francisco Shuffle"
  • "Don't Ever Bet On A Sure Thing" (Three Card Monte)

Take a Card (1928)

Take a Card was McMillen's first publication. It was a collaboration with Judson Brown, published in 1928 by Larsen and Wright.

Contents:

  • "A Retrieved Error"
  • "From Another Pack"
  • "The Joker Location"
  • "Another Joker Location"
  • "A New Reverse Location"

Other Works

Expert Card Technique (1940)

McMillen also contributed material to Hugard and Braue's Expert Card Technique, published in 1940:

Title Pages
Double Lift (uncredited) 5-6
"The Middle Deal" (uncredited) 23-24
"Emergency Card Stabbing" (uncredited) 120-121
"The Witchcraft Card Rise" 212-213
"Mind Mirror" 223-225
"Lazy Man's Card To Pocket" 313-315
"The Psychic Stop!" (uncredited) 330-331
"A Quick Reversal" (uncredited) 341-342

Note: All material listed as "uncredited" is according to the bibliography in Jack McMillen by Michael Landes (ebook, 2011, p. 263).

The Braue Notebooks

Some of the material that Fred Braue got from Jack McMillen didn't make it into Expert Card Technique. When Jeff Busby published some of Braue's notebooks, a few items by McMillen were included.

The Fred Braue Notebooks, Vol. 1 (1985)

  • Page 25 "Card Control"

The Fred Braue Notebooks, Vol. 2 (1985)

  • Page 17 "Card Reversal - A Peek"
  • Page 17 "Card Reversal - Another Peek"

Mental Mysteries With Cards (1942)

McMillen's "mental" items from the first year of Genii were compiled in a book by William Larsen in 1942 called Mental Mysteries with Cards (see Items in Magazines):

Title Page
"Mind Mirror" 32
"Nth Sense" 35
"Astral Vision" 38

Page Wright's Manuscript (1991)

Page Wright's Manuscript: Sixty Years of Lost Secrets, a collection of material from T. Page Wright, was published in 1991.

It contained several contributions by McMillen, most of which had been published in the late thirties by Larsen in Genii after Wright's death in 1930 (see Jack McMillen#Items in Magazines):

Title Pages
Artistic touch for L.W. False Shuffle 91-92
"Spring Force" 98-99
"Improved Knife Force" 99-100
"McMillen Change" 109-112
"A Cut at Any Number Throughout The Deck" 167-168
"A Card Reversed At Any Number" 170-171
"A Quick Reverse" 204-205
"Instant Speller" 220-221
"J. M. Rising Card" 259-262
Psychological force 279-280
"A Simplified Five Card Problem" 292-293

Items in Books

Title Book Title Author Year Pages
"Ghost Ring" The L.W. Pocket and Parlor Mysteries Larsen and Wright 1928 5
"The Prophesied Leaper" The L.W. Card Mysteries Larsen and Wright 1928 11-12
Card pushed through pack changes Page Wright's Notebook T. Page Wright 1933 9
"The Continuous Spelling Trick" More Card Manipulations No. 1 Jean Hugard 1938 16-17
"The Triple Discovery" (with Charlie Miller) More Card Manipulations No. 3 Jean Hugard 1941 29-30
"Ghost Ring" (uncredited) The Tarbell Course in Magic, Vol. 3 Harlan Tarbell 1943 306-309
"The Key To The Draw" (with Charlie Miller) Card Tricks Without Skill Paul Clive 1946 145-146
"Mirror of the Mind" The Royal Road to Card Magic Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue 1951 34-35
Edge Work The Secret of the Palmettos Jeff Busby 1998 31-32
"One-Way Glass" (with Jeff Busby) The Secret of the Palmettos Jeff Busby 1998 64-64

Items in Magazines

Title Magazine Title Vol. No. Date Pages
"The Mysterious Handkerchief" The Sphinx 25 5 July 1926 140
Needles from Mouth on Thread The Sphinx 27 4 June 1928 190
"X-Ray Vision" The Sphinx 27 12 Feb. 1929 577-578
"The Transformer Card" The Sphinx 28 1 Mar. 1929 25
"The Mystic Touch" The Sphinx 28 2 April 1929 65-66
"The Futuristic Camera" (with Judson Brown) The Sphinx 28 3 May 1929 97-98
"The Perplexing Penny" The Sphinx 28 6 Aug. 1929 210-211
"Fathom" The Sphinx 28 7 Sept. 1929 235
"Something For Slickers" (with Judson Brown) The Sphinx 29 7 Sept. 1930 275
"Controlled Cubes" (with Judson Brown) The Sphinx 29 8 Oct. 1930 308-309
"Typewriter Telepathy" The Sphinx 30 1 Mar. 1931 42
"Mental Photography" The Sphinx 30 1 Mar. 1931 42
"Sinister Vision" The Sphinx 30 1 Mar. 1931 42-43
"Ghost Eyes" (with Judson Brown) The Sphinx 32 10 Dec. 1933 297
"The Specter Envelope" (with Judson Brown) The Sphinx 32 11 Jan. 1934 339
"Telltale Color" (with Judson Brown) The Sphinx 33 1 Mar. 1934 12
"Poker Artistry" Genii 1 3 Nov. 1936 17
"Mind Mirror" Genii 1 4 Dec. 1936 12
"'Nth' Sense" Genii 1 5 Jan. 1937 11
Artistic touch for L.W. False Shuffle Genii 1 6 Feb. 1937 11-12
"Astral Vision" Genii 1 7 Mar. 1937 7-8
"Ghost Eyes" (with Judson Brown) The Sphinx 36 1 Mar. 1937 6
"The Spring Force" Genii 1 8 April 1937 8
"The Improved Knife Force" Genii 1 8 April 1937 8
"The McMillen Change" Genii 1 10 June 1937 11
"A Cut at Any Number" (uncredited) Genii 2 3 Nov. 1937 80
"A Card Reversed At Any Number" Genii 2 6 Feb. 1938 198
"The Diving Card" Genii 3 1 Sept. 1938 12
"A Quick Reverse" Genii 3 7 Mar. 1939 222
"Turnover Reverse" Genii 3 8 April 1939 254
"Tell Tale Color" (with Judson Brown) The Sphinx 39 10 Dec. 1940 247
"Mental Photography" (with Judson Brown) The Sphinx 39 11 Jan. 1941 292
"Tip-Over Change" (with Judson Brown) The Sphinx 39 11 Jan. 1941 293
"I'll Match You" Genii 9 8 April 1945 290
"Impromptu Salt Vanish" Genii 9 8 April 1945 290
"A Twist On The Color Change" Genii 9 8 April 1945 290
"The Counterfeiter" Genii 9 12 Aug. 1945 427
"Easy Openers" Genii 10 1 Sept. 1945 12
"Spectral Envelope" (with Judson Brown) The Conjurors' Magazine 1 8 Sept. 1945 28
Coin vanish Magicana (Woodfield) 2 June 1946 8
"The Ghost Ring" (uncredited) Genii 11 6 Feb. 1947 182
"Gambler's Coin Vanish" The Conjurors' Magazine 3 7 Sept. 1947 40
"The Inverted Aces" (with Charles Nyquist) Genii 14 2 Oct. 1949 43
"The San Francisco Shuffle" (with Charles Nyquist) Genii 14 3 Nov. 1949 12
"Slip Slide Sleight" Genii 33 5 Jan. 1969 204-205
"Karate Kontrol" Genii 46 5 May 1982 308-309
Coin vanish Genii 56 5 Mar. 1993 310

References

  1. Obit, Magic, April 1993
  2. William Larsen, Jr., "Genii Speaks," Genii, Vol. 54 No. 6, April 1991, p. 368
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