• Frederick Mosteller


One day in 1941 when Fred Williams and I were organizing some public opinion data by using IBM sorters, he delighted me by doing a magic trick with a cigarette. He said that, if I wished, I could join a magic club on the campus. It met about every two weeks on Sunday evenings. The price of admission was a trick that you performed yourself. Although I had no trick, after I came the first time, someone lent me a book, and I was soon studying hard.

When I was a freshman in high school, the year I spent alone in Delaware, Ohio, I had tried to find out about magic both at the town library and at Ohio Wesleyan University’s impressive one. Although both libraries had substantial holdings in the anthropological areas of magic and religion, I could not find anything that would help me learn to do things I had seen Houdini do back in Wilkinsburg, PA., or Thurston in Charleroi, PA, or Blackstone in some other little town where I worked in the summer.


Substantial Holding Piano Playing Real Magic Sunday Evening Magic Trick 


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  1. Erdnase, S. W. (1902). The Expert at the Card Table. [various editions].Google Scholar
  2. Mosteller, F. (1943). Bravo. The Phoenix, W. Gibson and B. Elliot, editors. Issue 49:200–201.Google Scholar
  3. Ortiz, D. (1991). The Annotated Erdnase. Magical Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick Mosteller
    • 1
  1. 1.BelmontUSA

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