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Frank Ducrot

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Frank Ducrot

Cover of American Magician (May 1910)
BornTheodore Francis Fritz
May 7, 1877
Brooklyn, New York
DiedMay 24, 1939 (age 62)
French Hospital, New York
Notable worksTwentieth Century Silks
Vest Pocket Magic
Known forOwner of Martinka
Active in early SAM

Frank Ducrot (1872 - 1939) was an owner of the Martinka magic shop and a Chautauqua and Vaudeville performer. His performances on the circuit featured hand shadows, chalk talk, Punch & Judy Shows, and chapeaugraphy.


Early life

Ducrot developed an interest in magic as a child, and would travel by ferry from Brooklyn to visit Martinka’s in Manhattan. He decided at a young age that he would like to perform as a magician, and own a magic shop. He performed as "The Boy Magician", and was still often billed that way well into his 50's.[1]

Sometimes called "Duke" or "Fritz" by friends, he was well known on the New York City magic scene. Although he was plagued by rheumatism and other health issues, he was said to have been one of the busiest magicians in pre-World War II New York.[1]

In addition to magic, Ducrot would perform and number of other acts in his shows, including acrobatic physical acts, monologues, chapeaugraphy, Punch and Judy routines, and novelty bits (such as Musical Glasses). He performed on the Vaudeville and Chautauqua circuits, and in circuses, theaters, and tent shows.[1]


Ducrot owned the stock and business of nearly forty magic companies including H.J. Burlingame & Co., the businesses of the Columbia Magic Trick and Novelty Co., H.L. Judd Company, Yost Compamy, the Otto Hornmann Company, and Otto Majer's own company, New York Magical Co. Ducrot also purchased the entire stock of tools, patterns, and models of C. Milton Chase.

When Otto Hornmann tired of the magic business, sold his company to Ducrot on April 18, 1921, he kept the name as the Martinka-Hornmann Magic Co.[2]

When not performing, or running Martinka's with his assistant Daisy White, he was active as an inventor, magazine editor, and SAM organizer, holding card number 15. He was known for his close up and small scale magic, referred to at the time as “Vest Pocket Magic". He would claim that he could perform a two-hour show out of his pockets.[1]

Ducrot continued to entertain throughout his life, frequently performing at magic club functions. He is known for inventing the classic Twentieth Century Silks effect.[2]


When Ducrot died in 1939, Al Flosso, his friend from his Coney Island days, purchased the shop from his estate.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "The Boy Magician, Frank Ducrot", by Michael, iTricks Magic Stuff,, Aug. 4, 2014.[[1]]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Frank Ducrot Dies", The Sphinx, Vol. 38, No. 4, June 1939, page 103.


  • Cover, Mahatma, Vol. 4, No. 3 September 1900, FRANK DUCROT, page 393
  • Cover, The American Magician, Vol. 2, No. 2, May 1910, Frank Ducrot, page 67
  • Cover, The Sphinx, Vol. 22, No. 4, June 1923
  • Cover, The Sphinx, Vol. 25, No. 1, March 1926
  • Genii Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 10, June 1939, A TRIBUTE TO FRANK DUCROT, page 339
  • The Jinx, No. 57, June 1939, Editriva – Frank Ducrot, page 402
  • The Sphinx, Vol. 38, No. 4, June 1939, Frank Ducrot Dies, page 103
  • Hugard's Magical Monthly, Vol. 14, No. 1, June 1956, Out of my Profonde, by Arthur Leroy - Saturday at Ducrot's Dirty Dump, page 436
  • Bio-bibliographisches Lexikon der Zauberkünstler Edition Volker Huber, April 2002, Fritz, Theodore Francis = Frank „Duke“ Ducrot, USA Zauberkünstler; Zauberhändler (*07.05.1872 Brooklyn, New York City; †24.05.1939), page 123
  • "The Boy Magician, Frank Ducrot", iTricks Magic Stuff,, Aug. 4, 2014. Accessed 2015-07-18