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Yogi Magic Mart

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Yogi Magic Mart in downtown Baltimore, Maryland was initially formed by a very young Phil Thomas in 1927 when he was buying magic tricks in small quantities and selling them to neighborhood friends from his house.

The mini magic shop relocated to Chesley Avenue by 1936, the residence of his new bride's parents. When magic props began to take over the entire living quarters, Thomas decided to open a real store calling it "Yogi Magic Mart".

Over the years, the Yogi Magic Mart held three locations on Charles Street in the heart of the city with the slogan of "The Home of Personalized Magic Service."

A special section of the shop, the Yogi Magic Museum, contained magic pieces that dated back to the 17th century. Among the collection was Thurston's "Floating Ball," Jack Gwynne's turban, Harry Kellar's Billiard Balls, a pair of Houdini's handcuffs and a straitjacket, and Dunninger's crystal ball.

Whenever a such noted performers as Thurston, Blackstone, John Calvert, Cardini, or Doug Henning played Baltimore, they usually visited the shop. Many would perform for free on the tiny stage that was built from planks of Ford's Opera House stage.

In August 1985, magic hobbyist and lawyer Paul Wolman, owner of P.W. Feats, a party and event planning service, purchased the Yogi Magic Shop. A series of fires led to it's eventual demise.[1]

The shop would be moved it to Ellicott City, a historical district just outside of Baltimore, and renamed it the Main Street Magic Shop.[2]

Now in Baltimore on Charles Street is "Ken Zo's Yogi Magic Mart", run by Ken Horsman.
  1. Baltimore, A City of Fraternal Magi by Mark Walker, Magic, February 2000
  2. John Ekin By Steve Marshall, MUM November 2008