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Bert Douglas

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Bert Douglas
BornDouglas Robert Smith
May 1897
DiedMarch 08, 1974 (age 76)
Toronto, Canada
CategoriesBooks by Bert Douglas

Bert Douglas (1897-1974), born Douglas Robert Smith in Aberdeen, Scotland, was a prolific author and inventor of magic living most of his life in Canada.


Douglas was the youngest of a family of eight. From an early age in Scotland, he was captivated by magic. His boyhood ambition was to follow in the footsteps of Professor Anderson, the "Wizard of the North". As a young magician, he adopted the title "Mr. Smith - the Uncanny Aberdonian" and at the age of fifteen, he wrote his first article for the Magic Wand.

He served for over four years in World War One. Following his marriage in 1920, he immigrated to Toronto, Canada where he was employed in the Motive Power Department of Canadian National Railways. There, he chose the name Bert Douglas for professional purposes, by transposing his name. He became friends Sid Lorraine whom he would meet almost daily over lunch in downtown Toronto.

During his life, Douglas made over two hundred contributions to magic magazines. In addition, he was the author of sixteen books, several were devoted to collections of patter including one for Dell O’Dell. He also created dozens of tricks which were purchased and marketed by various magic dealers.

Not known as a performer, he did performed at various church gatherings, Sunday schools, Christmas concerts and family gatherings.

He retired from the railways in 1962. In latter years of his life, Douglas developed a series of tricks designed for workshops on the subject of safety called "The Magic of Safety". Several articles on the program were published in 1967 through 1969 in New Tops and Genii. In the 1940's he invented the game of Pic-O.

He died in Toronto of a heart attack while shopping. A tribute by Sid Lorraine appeared in May 1974 issue of New Tops.[1]


  • Masonic Magical Creations. Toronto, Self Published (1920)
  • More Masonic Magical Creations. Toronto: Self Published (1921)
  • Original Magic for All : a Series of Original Magic Problems Requiring No Special Skill for Their Performance. London: C. Arthur Pearson (1927)
  • Tarbell Course in Magic, Lesson 42 (1928)
  • Club Magic. London: Edward Bagshawe & Co. (1930) (illustrated by Sid Lorraine)
  • More Club Magic, Part 1. London: Edward Bagshawe & Co., (1932)
  • More Club Magic, Part 2. London: Edward Bagshawe & Co., (1932)
  • Master Club Tricks with Patter (1934)
  • Magic Worth Knowing. London: Edward Bagshawe & Co., (1934)
  • Master Club Tricks With Patter. Chicago, Ireland Magic Co., (1934)
  • Magic as You Like It (1935)
  • Abbott's Cigarette Magic (fifty cigarettes tricks, puzzles and games compiled by Bert Douglas under the penname of Tom Zeno) (1936) (Ad in Tops May 1936)
  • The A.B.C. Book of Patter: an Original Compilation of Humorous Patter Lines Arranged Alphabetically (1937)
  • Modern Club Act and Chemical Rabbits. Chicago, Ireland Magic Co. (1935)
  • Patter in Rhyme (1935)
  • Patter in Rhyme (2nd edition)(1939)
  • Magical Patter (1940)
  • Old Tricks Made New (1941)
  • Modern Magic. London: E.G. Ellisdon, (1941)
  • Original Magical Problems. Toronto: Self Published, (1942)
  • Patter Lines for Tricksters. Chicago: Magic, Inc. (1968) (This is a revision and enlargement of ABC Book of Patter)
  • Masonic Magic. Invisible Lodge [1975)
  • Exclusive Rhyme Routines (written Exclusively for Dell O’Dell) n.d.

Games Invented by Bert Douglas

  • Fifty Tinker Tricks (Tinkertoy Inc., Evanston. 1936)
  • Fifty Tinker Games and Amusements (Tinkertoy Inc., Evanston. 1936)
  • Game of Pic-o (Copp-Clark Co. Toronto, 1943)

See Also

Yellow Perils


  1. Bert Douglas Tribute at