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Al Baker

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Al Baker
BornAlbert Baker [1]
September 04, 1874
Poughkeepsie, New York
DiedOctober 24, 1951 (age 77)
Brooklyn, N.Y.
CategoriesBooks by Al Baker

Al Baker (September 4, 1874 - October 24, 1951) was a professional magician born in Poughkeepsie, New York. Baker was known by most of his magical contemporaries as an outstanding M.C., author, and inventor.


By the time Baker was 21, he was already working in Vaudeville as magician and ventriloquist. Later he was performer at Coney Island as a Chautauqua & Lyceum headliner, where he also had a photo studio.

Al Baker was one of the greatest entertainers in magic and combined original effects with a natural sense of humor. His stage act consisted of the following: Cake in the hat, Card from the hat, dyeling silks, Knot in the silk, The Pack that cuts itself, thirty card trick, & torn and restored paper napkin.

Baker was an inventor of many tricks that he marketed including his Dictionary Test, Al Baker Slates and his version of the Rice bowls. Many of his silk magic effects were included in Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic. One of his creations was the Purse Frame.

Baker opened a magic shop with Martin Sunshine in Times Square.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Honors and Awards





  • Baker regularly contributed to The Sphinx and other magic magazines.



  • "No matter how bad the show, or how little the kids, or how hard it is to get their attention, take a live rabbit and coil of paper out of your hat and you're safe." The Secret Ways of Al Baker, page 135
  • " "We must never forget that the details of presentation are what make a trick. And study and thought brings us those details. If you have a trick you like but never do because of some weak or unnatural or illogical part, don't lay it aside—just begin thinking. What I mean is thinking about that part. You will be surprised how a brilliant idea will crop up and you will be surprised even more that you hadn't thought of it before. The usual trouble is that we don't bother to think long enough or hard enough" - "What Makes a Trick" by Al Baker, The Sphinx, Vol.40, No.1 (March 1941)." (Which is usually paraphrased as "Magicians stop thinking too soon!”)


  1. The Sphinx, Vol. L, No. Four, June 1951, OFFICIAL MEMBERSHIP LIST OF SAM JUNE, 1951, page 140
  4. M-U-M, Vol. 72, No. 4, September 1982, The Incomparible Al Baker, Magician of the Month, page 7
  5. Genii Forum Book of the Month
  7. Cover Genii, Vol. 12, No. 7, March 1948
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  • The Sphinx, Vol. 31, No. 4, June 1932, Who's Who in Magic, page 156
  • Cover, The Sphinx, Vol. 43, No. 2, April 1944, Al Baker, page 32
  • Cover, Linking Ring, Vol. 25, No. 4, June 1945, Al Baker, Great Magician, Humorist and Dean of the S.A.M. by John Braun, page 15
  • Cover, The Sphinx, Vol. 47, No. 1, March 1948, The Cover, page 4
  • Cover, Tops Magazine, Vol. 13, No. 4, April 1948, Al Baker – His Golden Anniversary Year, page 4
  • Goodliffe's Abracadabra, Vol. 7, No. 167, April 1949, American Profiles, by Robert Lund - Al Baker, page 166
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 31, No. 2, April 1951, The New York Mid-Century Parade, by Eddie Clever, Al Baker, page 51
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 31, No. 9, November 1951, AL BAKER September 4, 1874 - October 24, 1951, page 12
  • M-U-M, Vol. 41, No. 7, December 1951, Al Baker 1874-1951, page 181
  • The Sphinx, Vol. 50, No. 6, December 1951, In Memoriam, AL BAKER September 4, 1874 – October 24, 1951, page 255
  • Tops Magazine, Vol. 16, No. 12, December 1951, MORE ABOUT AL BAKER, page 21
  • M-U-M, Vol. 59, No. 5, October 1969, Al Baker (Dean of Society of American Magicians), by Tom Hawbecker (Past National President), page 36
  • M-U-M, Vol. 91, No. 12, May 2002, The Deeans of the S.A.M. - Al Baker September 4,1874 - October 31,1951, Dean: 1941-1951, page 21
  • Cover, Genii Magazine, Vol. 66, No. 2, February 2003, FEATURES
  • The Secret Ways of Al Baker, by Todd Karr (2003)
  • Bio-bibliographisches Lexikon der Zauberkünstler Edition Volker Huber, April 2002, Baker, Al USA Zauberkünstler; Zauberkunst-Fachschriftsteller (*04.09.1874 Pougheepsie, New York; †31.10.1951 [24.10.1951?] New York), page 29