SI STEBBINS LEGACY TO THE MAGICIANS His own private card tricks and routine, perfected after 40 years of stage work
Nothing inside has ever before appeared in print
Foreword by John Mullholland Introduction by Julian Proskauer
Remarks by Frank Lane
FOREWORD I am happy to have been instrumental in arranging with Mr. Stebbins to release to the magical fraternity, as a sort of legacy from this grand old man of magic, the true Si Stebbins System, one that but three magicians knew until now. I am happy that my good friend, Frank Lane, decided to place the actual method of Mr. Stebbins in the hands of many, rather than limiting its sale to a choice few by placing a high price on this priceless manuscript. I believe that every magician should pay fitting tribute to Si Stebbins for releasing for the first time the actual method used by him. I believe that not enough credit can be paid to Si Stebbins for reducing "miracles" to easily workable effects. Thousands of magicians in the last decade used the Si Stebbins set-up for a trick or two, then carelessly discarded it and devoted most or their time to sleights, passes, flourishes, and stunts. I believe that the magical profession lost a great deal when its members did not recognize no?/ much could be gotten from a Si Stebbins set-up* There must be as much pride of achievement for the professional or amateur magician to fool an audience with a Si Steboins arrangement, as there is in amazing them with some trick pass or sleight that required years of practice to perfect. The proper handling of a Si Stebbins pack depends on tv/o things: the smoothness of a"false shuffle, or, in a case ?/here the pack is thrown out to the audience to be shuffled, how adroitly the switch of packs is made. For years magicians have paid too much attention to what other magicians thought, of their work. If you can amaze, entertain, and deceive your audience, what difference does the method make? I have had many magicians sneer at the Si Stebbins method; but a minute after they had told me how impractical it was in these days of moiern magic, I have seen them fooled with a simple effect based on the Si Stebbins set-up. Read this book carefully, put a little time in the presentation of the effects; but before you show any of the Si Stebbins effects, "sell" the audience on the "mental" strain necessary to accomplish the miracle. Be very serious and continue to keep in mind that misdirection is essential in switching packs and in false shuffling. The patter will supply sufficient misdirection in most cases. It is iv sincere hope that you find as much profitable material in Si S )bin&' last manuscript as I found in his original work many, many years ago, Julien J . Proskauer, President National Council Society of American Magicians
New York, September 26, 1935
For thirty years I have admired the Y/ork of Si Stebbins* No matter hoY/ many tricks one may have seen, he will be fascinated by those card masterpieces of Stebbins. Stebbins states that the extreme rapidity ?/ith wh_.ch he works is due to the system he uses, and that instsad-efâ€”di-f-f j-cult sleights, his tricks "depend almost entirely on memory". Any magician who studies this book can be prepared, at a moment's notice, and Y/ith only a pack of cards, "to amaze the beholders". The Y/orld of magic owes a debt of gratitude to Si Stebbins for these secrets -- the real ones Y/hich he uses. John Mulholland
REMARKS --by Frank Lane
I t h i n k you boys w i l l g e t a k i c k out of t h i s book, a s i t ' s a brand new s y s t e m . . . . a n d a l t h o u g h you might say a t t h e s t a r t : "Hmi I t ' s only a n o t k e r system" I t h i n k you w i l l find some very c l e v e r
ideas in the t r i c k s themselves.
I have t e s t e d the system and the r o u t i n e , and I find i t t o be as Si Stebbins claims lOOf f a s t e r . If a t h i n g i s any g o o d . . . . . n o matter what i t i s i t ' s worth working for; and if you are w i l l i n g t o p r a c t i c e these effects and get them down p a t , you will be well rewarded for the reading of the book. We can s e l l you the m a t e r i a l ; but v/e c a n ' t p r a c t i c e for you. have t o do t h a t yourself.
The book will be absolutely no good t o you if you read i t and toss i t a s i d e ; and if you happen t o be one of the ones t o DO t h a t , then some day I ' l l fool you with the t r i c k s in t h i s book. Thanks for your patronage and for a l l your past favors in purchasing my manuscripts, book's, and m a t e r i a l . Sincerely yours, FRANK LANE.
This i s r e a l l y a confession in regard to myself and my work as a Card Manipulator. I doubt very much if many in the Magical
orld know t h a t
although I invented, discovered, or originated (whichever way you wish t o put i t ) the Set-Up known as the "Si Stebbins System", I have never made use of i t in my work E n t e r t a i n i n g . The FACTS are t h a t I use an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t
which I know from using over forty years, i s a hundred percent f a s t er than my published System. Now you ask what Set-up do I use and where did I get i t ? I will answer that by t e l l i n g you a story; v i z , in the 7/inter of 1895-6 I had what a t t h a t time we called a Store shov/ up through New England. With my show I had a Card Manipulator, by the name of Selim Cid (a Syrian).
Cid used the same Set-Up t h a t I use; in fact, I got
i t from him; so you see, I am not the o r i g i n a t o r of the Set-Up put forward in t h i s Book; n e i t h e r was Cid the o r i g i n a t o r ; for, as far as I know or I have been able to find out, the Set-Up as quoted above i s older than the h i l l s , although I feel safe in saying t h a t very
of t h i s generation know anything about t h i s Set-Up. Anyway, I will say i t i s the f a s t e s t system I have, as y e t , come in contact v/ith. In t h i s book I am giving you a l l of the short cuts t h a t make for the utmost SPEED ( a s I know them). There i s one t h i n g t h a t the Performer must bear in mind, and t h a t i s , t h a t the Effects described in t h i s Book depend almost e n t i r e l y upon Memory.