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Carl Owen

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Carl Owen

Cover of Genii (1959)
BornCarl Paul LeRoy Owen
August 22, 1889
Panama, Iowa
DiedMay 10, 1975 (age 85)
Alhambra, California
CategoriesBooks by Carl Owen

Carl Owen (1889 - 1975), who studied mechanical drafting and architectural design, became an illusion builder for more then sixty years.


Owen began working at Thayer in 1914 and bought the manufacturing part of the business in 1933 with his brother Emmett.

Most of Thayer's blueprints up until 1943 were done by Owen.

The business, Owen Brothers, continued until the 1960s, when it was bought by Les Smith who continued it on as "Owen Magic Supreme".

Carl never performed magic. He would occasionally help as a backstage assistant for Thayer and others.

During the 1920's, Howard Thurston came to Thayer with an idea for a girl's torso to vanish based on an idea from Cyril Yettmah. Yettmah's method required a stage trap, but Thurston wanted to do it without one. Thayer and Owen came up with "The Girl Without A Middle" (also been known as "The Disembodied Princess" and "No Guts").[1]

A few of the other illusions he developed were:

  • The lock flap card box (wood)
  • The locking and releasing mechanism for the Dr. Q spirit slates.
  • The Alexander no-assistant nest of boxes
  • The Thayer vanishing radio
  • The vanishing cage of doves, developed from the vanishing radio.




  1. CARL OWEN-MAKER OF FINE MAGIC by Frederic L. Rickard in Magicol No. 30 (February 1974)
  • Genii Magazine, Vol. 23, No. 9, May 1959, The Man Carl Owen, by John Daniel, page 329
  • M-U-M, Vol. 59, No. 2, July 1959, TOURING OWEN BROTHERS STORE by RAY MUSE, page.72
  • M-U-M, Vol. 63, No. 7, December 1973, SAM. MAGIC HALL of FAME by John Zweers, page 13
  • Genii Magazine, Vol. 39, No. 4, April 1975, Obituaries, CARL OWEN, page 192
  • Genii Magazine, Vol. 43, No. 12, December 1979, How Owen Magic Supreme Came to Be, page 843
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 64, No. 5, May 1984, Memoirs of a Magician's Ghost, by John Booth, Chapter 184 – THE SAGA OF FLOYD THAYER AND CARL OWEN, page 55
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 64, No. 6, June 1984, Memoirs of a Magician's Ghost, by John Booth, Chapter 184 – OWEN-SMITH: WHERE ILLUSIONS ARE BORN (continued), page 58
  • M-U-M, Vol. 92, No. 6, November 2002, Owen Magic Supreme, One Hundred Years of Quality Magic, page 24