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Stewart James

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Stewart James

Cover of Genii (1991)
BornJohn George Stewart James
May 14, 1908
Courtnight, Ontario
DiedNovember 5, 1996 (age 88)
CategoriesBooks by Stewart James

Stewart James (b.1908-d.1996), one of magic's most prolific inventors, was a Canadian postman.


Inspired by imaginary friends to create magic, Stewart James was one of the 20th century’s most prodigious inventors of magic effects and one of the art form’s most prolific authors. Though he was a skilled magician who performed for the allied forces during his Canadian tour of duty during World War II – James is best known in the magic world for his uncanny ability to create.

Throughout his 88 years of life, he conceived and published over 400 different trick "plots," which have been adapted by countless other magicians for use in their performances. He can be described as a mastermind who focused his energy on imagining new impossibilities at a table backstage instead of presenting them on-stage.

One of his legendary effects was Miraskill published first in The Jinx, No. 24, September 1936, page 147, then in Jean Hugard's Encyclopedia of Card Tricks (1937). Some of his effects were call Jogestja, using letters from his full name.

The collected volumes of his magic written by his Allan Slaight are some of the largest books on magic ever published.

An autobiography of Stewart James was published in The Linking Ring, October, 1952.[1] In “Stewart James in Print: The First Fifty Years” (1989), he writes his autobiography is dull and not interesting then completes it with a lot of details (the book is filled of biographical information).[2]

His house was the inspiration for Robert Bloch's novel "Psycho".




Creative Fellowship from the Academy of Magical Arts (1982)

James in Print

Bobo's Modern Coin Magic

  • The Changing Change page 199
  • Squeeze Play 235
  • Jimmy Valentine Picks a Lock 236
  • Money Paper 237
  • Almost a Transposition 238


  • The Never Missing Link December, 1953


  • Your Mind is My Own, February, 1955
  • Combined Operations, March 1991
  • Found Money, March 1991
  • Brain to Wallet, March 1991

Linking Ring

  • A “Match” for Gravity September, 1926
  • Surprising Suspension December, 1926
  • Penciltration January, 1927
  • Hooda Thunkit March, 1927
  • The Passing of Professor Prodenpoke April, 1929
  • Crystal Clear January, 1939
  • Doctoring a Pane February, 1939
  • Drop, Stop and Plop March, 1939
  • The Gift of Throughth April, 1939
  • Wedding Accessories May, 1939
  • Audio-Hypnosis June, 1939
  • The Cut and Restored Thought July, 1939
  • Pyroplexity August, 1939
  • The Token of Chieh Lin September, 1939
  • The Peripatetic Pencil October, 1939
  • Took Best Book Test November, 1939
  • Paging a Snappy Number December, 1939
  • The Whistle-Wetter January, 1940
  • Anubis Problem February, 1940
  • Check and Double Check March, 1940
  • Copy Cats April, 1940
  • The Parade of Coffin Nails May, 1940
  • Pick and Shove All June, 1940
  • Two Minutes Never Were July, 1940
  • A Citizen of Two Worlds August, 1940
  • Jamesway Dice Test August, 1949
  • Kilroy Was Here August, 1949
  • Share the Wealth August, 1950
  • On the Ball August, 1950
  • The Unchecked Artist August, 1951
  • Futuristic Art October, 1951
  • Cubestrick August, 1952
  • The Oddway Pass October, 1952
  • Rhapsodicker October, 1952
  • Chinese GolfOctober, 1952
  • The “Anjo” Discovery October, 1952
  • New Departure Rope Mystery October, 1952
  • Isochronism October, 1952
  • Micawber October, 1952
  • New Angle 16 Digit Test October, 1952
  • The Ringer October, 1952
  • Shape of Things to Come October, 1952
  • Worditto October, 1952
  • Astro Domination October, 1952
  • Mental Masterpiece Word Test October, 1952
  • Webster Had a Word for It October, 1952
  • In the Money October, 1952
  • Fagin Touch October, 1952
  • The Sharper’s Purse October, 1952
  • Snaretrainer October, 1952
  • The Doozer October, 1953
  • Lejun August, 1954
  • Progressive Cards to Pocket June, 1955
  • Alpha Betting August, 1956
  • Person to Person August, 1957


  1. The Linking Ring, Vol. 32, No. 8, October 1952, Jogestja Tells On Stewart James, page 19
  2. Stewart James in Print: The First Fifty Years (1989), “Jogestja Tells On Stewart James”, page 589
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