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Exclusive Magical Secrets

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Exclusive Magical Secrets
Image courtesy of Marco Pusterla's blog
AuthorWill Goldston
Publication Date1912
Followed byMore Exclusive Magical Secrets

Exclusive Magical Secrets, along with the later More Exclusive Magical Secrets (1921) and Further Exclusive Magical Secrets (1927) were part of the "locked books" by Will Goldston. Each book came with a padlock and key with a clasp built into the book to keep the book, in a cheap red leather binding, closed. Thus, you were not able to walk in a magic shop (Goldston’s, mainly) and browse the book.

Goldston first started advertising the book in 1910.

Only 1,000 copies were printed, each with the name of the subscriber gold-stamped on the cover. The subscriber also had to sign an agreement in order not to disclose the secrets therein.

Its been told that some of the original subscribers, when passed away, asked to be buried with their copy of the book, to prevent it from falling in the wrong hands.

The list of other contributors included (although some never agreed to have their tricks explained) were Chung Ling Soo, Chefalo, Oswald Williams, J. N. Maskelyne, Servais Le Roy, Cyril Yettmah, G. W. Hunter, Lafayette, and Conradi. Some of the tricks are explained but not taught.

The book contains a section by Harry Houdini with some escapes and one about Buatier De Kolta's Expanding Cube. Other tricks included Harry Kellar’s Levitation, originally Maskelyne’s (possibly the first time in print), David Devant's Mirror Illusion, and The Whist-Playing Automaton.

Goldston's last book in similar size and format, which could be considered part the series was Great Magicians' Tricks, but did not come with the clasp and lock.[1]

Some magician found these books as a collection of material which was wrong, pirated and over-rated.[citation needed]


  1. The Ephemeral Collector The Magical collection of Marco Pusterla
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