Martinka & Company is America's oldest magic company. Throughout the years the company has acquired and combined with over 30 other magic firms including Hornmann and Milton Chase and its roots date back to the early 1800s.
The business was founded in 1877 by the brothers, Francis and Antonio Martinka.
In the back of their New York City store was a workshop where magic illusions were built for all of the famous magicians of the day. Customers of the past included Alexander Herrmann, Harry Kellar, Howard Thurston and Houdini.
The Martinka brothers also built the special effects for shows including the original production of The Wizard of Oz. In the 1940s, Martinka & Co. was involved in several top secret projects that still remain a mystery today.
In 1902, the Society of American Magicians was founded in the back room of the Martinka shop.
The business has had a string of famous owners including Charles Joseph Carter The Great (1917), Harry Houdini (1919), Al Flosso, the Coney Island Fakir (1939), and Jackie Flosso. Today, the firm is run by Ted Bogusta and operates a brick and mortar shop with a mini museum as well as an online magic auction at www.martinka.com. The company continues to purchase magic collections and libraries, which are used to supply magicians and collectors throughout the world with vintage and modern magic.
In 2004 the shop moved from NYC to Midland Park, NJ.
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- Photo Genii 1951 May