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August Roterberg

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August Roterberg (1867 - September 23, 1928) was born in Germany and emigrated to the United States around 1883 as a teenager. He started out selling magic by mail order and then opened a magic store in Chicago, in the lobby of the "old" Palmer House Hotel.

Roterberg really started the modern age of magic publishing. His books were the first in English written expressly for magicians. Roterberg's books were published by a magic dealer specifically for sale in magical depots, rather than for wide distribution to the general public. He ended up selling his mail order business in 1908 to Ralph W. Read and his shop to Arthur & Carl Felsman in 1916.

Roterberg is best known as a magic inventor and is credited with inventing Multiplying Billiard Balls. But according to John Braun in The Linking Ring, Vol. 29, N° 6, august 1949, page 28, George F. Wright seems to be the creator. He worked at store and shop of Roterberg on illinois Street, Chicago.

He eventually retired around 1917 and eventually moved to California, where lived until his death.


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