Magic Roadshow Back on Track

Inside Magic Image of Rick  Carruth's Medical Team Reading The Magic RoadshowRick Carruth’s The Magic Roadshow is must reading for anyone interested in magic. Collectors, performers, groupies, hangers-on and recent converts will all find satisfaction in the virtual pages of this well-edited magic journal.

You will understand our panic, therefore, when we did not receive the latest issue when we expected.

The latest edition arrived on Tuesday and we were embarrassed to read that Mr. Carruth had a very good reason for the delayed distribution.

He suffered a heart attack and while The Magic Roadshow is important, it is less important than personal health and safety. We are prepared to give Mr. Carruth a pass on this interruption in our ridiculously anal-retentive routine.

Mr. Carruth writes:

I spent all of last week in the hospital. Seems I had a heart attack and some totally clogged arteries. Bummer. I’ll get over it and back on track. My public service message of the month is this… If you have a little heartburn, and even if Tums helps, go to the hospital if there are any other occurrences outside the ordinary. My heartburn lasted about 30 minutes, but I had a rapid heart rate for two more days. Doc says he wished I had come earlier…  (I told him I was convinced it was the Baha salad, pico de gallo, spicy jalapeno dressing, and cup of chili I had before going to bed the night before…)

The latest edition is chocked-full of great effects and links to download some of the classics of magic. You will find a great math magic trick that will surely please even those snobs or cowards who normally fear math magic,  amazing self-working effects, and links to videos teaching important sleight of hand moves.

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Thank You, Rick Carruth and Magic Roadshow

Inside Magic Image of Argos Cigarette Card for Inside Magic PromotionOur rule of thumb is a model of clarity: we like those who like us.

That means we have few friends but those we do have, are fun to be around.

Rick Carruth has stood with Inside Magic since the late 1940s, right after the war and America was getting back to work, turning the mighty magic industrial engines from war-time goods to magic effects and props.

One of the Mystic Hollow Iron Works plants (we think it was the old Thurston Road facility — now the site of the Iron Works Mall) dedicated three shifts a day to producing bombardier windows and gun barrels. After the war, the factory returned to cranking out TV Card Frames and Flash and Bang Wands.

We made the transition as well. We felt confident that Magic was about to enter its heyday. Inside Magic began as an insert found in specially marked packages of Argos Cigarettes. This was back when everyone smoked and if they didn’t, they were around people who did smoke so it really didn’t matter that they didn’t.

Argos Cigarettes was a premium brand from the makers of some of Europe’s finest cigarette and cigars, Vespa. (After the war, they added motor scooters to their product mix and eventually sold off the tobacco lines in favor of the transportation market). Little known is that Vespa’s second largest shareholder was Prince William van der Byce better known to magic historians as “Byce the Magician.”

The prince insisted the Argos cigarettes have a special filter attached to assist magicians performing manipulation routines. The filter was sturdy and when moistened, would adhere to almost any surface. Lit or unlit, the Argos brand was hands down the choice of magicians. In fact, that is where the expression, “Tip your hat” comes from. Magicians would often “lick and load” a pack or two individual cigarettes on to the back of their top hats and with a gentle tip forward, a cigarette would roll nicely into place along the outer rim of the hat. It became common for magicians to tip their hats when greeting men or women to get their cigarette loads ready. The lay audiences took the gesture to be one of respect and magicians never said otherwise.

But we digress.


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