Al Baker (April 4, 1874 - October 24, 1951) was a professional magician born in Poughkeepsie, New York. Baker was known by most of his magical contemporaries as an outstanding M.C., author, and inventor.
|Born||April 04, 1874|
Poughkeepsie, New York
|Died||October 24, 1951 (age 77) |
By the time Baker was 21, he was already working in Vaudeville as magician and ventriloquist. Later he was performer at Coney Island as a Chautauqua & Lyceum headliner, where he also had a photo studio.
Al Baker was one of the greatest entertainers in magic and combined original effects with a natural sense of humor. His stage act consisted of the following: Cake in the hat, Card from the hat, dyeling silks, Knot in the silk, The Pack that cuts itself, thirty card trick, & torn and restored paper napkin.
Baker was an inventor of many tricks that he marketed including his Dictionary Test, Al Baker Slates and his version of the Rice bowls. Many of his silk magic effects were included in Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic. One of his creations was the Purse Frame.
Honors and Awards
- Dean of the Society of American Magicians from 1941-1951.
- Al Baker's Book One (1933)
- Al Baker's Book Two (1935)
- Magical Ways and Means (1941)
- Mental Magic (1949)
- Pet Secrets (1951)
- The Twenty-Five Dollar Manuscript (Ca. 1929)
- Al Baker's Pack (1932)
- Cardially Yours (1934)
- Effects 1, 2, 3 (Ca. 1939)
- Card Trio (1948)
- Baker regularly contributed to The Sphinx and other magic magazines.
- "No matter how bad the show, or how little the kids, or how hard it is to get their attention, take a live rabbit and coil of paper out of your hat and you're safe." The Secret Ways of Al Baker, page 135
- " "We must never forget that the details of presentation are what make a trick. And study and thought brings us those details. If you have a trick you like but never do because of some weak or unnatural or illogical part, don't lay it aside—just begin thinking. What I mean is thinking about that part. You will be surprised how a brilliant idea will crop up and you will be surprised even more that you hadn't thought of it before. The usual trouble is that we don't bother to think long enough or hard enough" - "What Makes a Trick" by Al Baker, The Sphinx, Vol.40, No.1 (March 1941)." (Which is usually paraphrased as "Magicians stop thinking too soon!”)
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