I was born in England in the 1960’s and it wasn’t until 1990 that I emigrated to America so much of my early magic dealer experience was with Ron MacMillan, Supreme Magic Company, Jack Hughes, and Alan Warner. I hadn’t really heard of U.F. Grant or MAK magic before I came to America. But it didn’t take long after I arrived in Texas before I started to purchase the classic MAK and U.F. Grant magic.
I found the DVD’s talking about Grant very fascinating and particularly enjoyed the various Demos that Grant performs in various formats. It is clear U.F. Grant was doing Speed Demos decades before I began 🙂
The rest of this description is supplied from MAK Magic with extra annotations by Rod McFadden – Rod has a great selection of magic on his website that has been going at least as long as martinsmagic.com.
If you are of an age, (by which I mean about 45 years or older), then you no doubt have fond memories of going to the magic store in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and looking at all the amazing colorful boxes and tubes produced by Mak Magic in its heyday. Mak Magic was started by U.F. Grant, who was also a name that was inescapable in those decades (and a few preceding them). Grant created (probably) more magic effects and methods than anyone else in magic history.
Grant passed away in 1978, and so for a 30th anniversary of his death, Mak Magic produced a boxed collector’s set of UF Grant material. Only 100 of these limited edition sets were made, and each set contained a 3-DVD set of archival Grant footage, a compendium book of many Grant publications, a poster, and this 8″ x 10″wood portrait of UF Grant enjoying a cigar.
The sets were quite expensive at issue — $199 suggested retail, and they are now very hard to find anywhere. And they are no longer available from MAK — I know, because I bought the last few they had. 🙂
Effect: The set includes FOUR major elements:
- a 3-DVD set,
- a collection of Grant books and publications in a single volume,
- a cool wood burnt-etched portrait of Grant,
- and a 24×36 inch wall poster.
(These are also accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity from MAK). Although the DVD set was sold separately, the other three elements were not available outside the set. Those three items were strictly limited to just 100 pieces, as there were exactly 100 sets made.
#1 THE 3-DVD Set – U.F. Grant … An American Original
To commemorate 30 years after Grant’s death, Mak Magic produced a documentary movie about his life, and also collected lots of old movie footage of Grant demonstrating his latest creations. It seems that Grant was a You-Tube star decades before YouTube existed! In the 1940’s and 1950’s, he would film demos and lectures of his tricks. Then he would send the films around to magic clubs all over the country. Helped him sell a lot of magic, but also (lucky for an magician now, who is interested in the history of our Art), the films remain and give a rare glimpse into Grant’s personality and magic.
And although the footage is sometimes pretty rough, and the magic is from 50+ years ago, there are a few real goodies in the lectures that you will no doubt consider working on and placing among your performance effects.
Besides vintage footage of Grant performing and lecturing, there is the documentary I mentioned, which is about 60 minutes long. I found it very interesting, giving insights into both Grant’s creativity as well as his drive to be successful in his chosen world of magic. There’s also some footage of special events honoring Grant, which have rare footage of a young Jay Marshall and also Frances Marshall performing.
The third disc has more demo footage, and a narrated slideshow of many, many of those wonderful boxes and tubes that entranced us from the shelves of the magic store. Lots of fascinating history and insights into how they came about, the difficulties with building some of them, etc. Includes stories of some of the famous “flops” as well as some of the rarer items that you would never see anywhere else but on these DVDs.
BONUS: I know that all that stuff I just described is plenty, but … the set also includes pdf and doc files of about a dozen classic UF Grant/Don Tanner publications:
- 6 modern levitations,
- Brilliant Card Magic,
- Grant’s Ency of Magic,
- Fab Feats of Mental Magic,
- Grant’s Manual of Magic,
- Illusion Secrets,
- Victory Carton Illusions,
- Magic Made easy lecture Notes,
- Flying Carpet,
- Rope and Chain escapes, and more.
Many of the files are in Word doc format, so you could edit them down to just the items you want to save, add your own performance ideas etc. All the publications have been re-set with a word processor, so if you (like me) struggled with those hard-to-read vintage Grant manuscripts that Don Tanner typed up on a typewriter and mimeographed, rest assured, these are A LOT easier on the eyes!
If you love magic, and are interested in those who made our Art much more wonderful, you will love this DVD set.
#2 the LIMITED EDITION BOOK – A COMPENDIUM OF U.F. GRANT PUBLICATIONS
This book is a collection of 12 different UF Grant/Don Tanner publications from the 1930’s through the 1970’s. It includes:
- Grant’s Thirteen Mysteries (1934),
- 25 Methods for Switching Decks by Floyd G. Brown.
- Six Modern Levitations,
- Grant’s Brilliant Card Magic by Robert J. Smith,
- Challenge Magic Act,
- Encyclopedia of U.F. Grant Magic,
- Grant’s Fabulous Feats of Mental Magic by Don Tanner,
- G&M Magic Course,
- Grant’s Manual of Magic,
- Snip Snap Want Ad Test
The pages in this book are not numbered (since it is a collection of about 12 different publications), But by my rough estimate/count of the pages in this collected volume, it has about 200 pages. It is a big 8.5 x 11 inch book, and about one inch thick.
If you are an old-ster like me, and you wore out your eyesight trying to read the originals of some of these manuscripts, that were typeset with an actual typewriter and poorly mimeographed, then you will be happy to hear that all the manuscripts were re-set using 21st century word processing technology. So they are much easier to read now!
There were only 100 of these books created by MAK, to go into the 100 deluxe UF Grant Commemorative sets. Note: However, these books were not individually numbered. (Not sure why MAK did not do that).
#3 The wood portrait of UF Grant
I believe they call this “laser etched”. The portrait is actually burned into a solid piece of oak. It will hang on the wall without a frame, as the portrait is “framed” by black finish on the wood, and has a slot in the back for easy hanging. NOTE: The portrait is also numbered (etched into the wood on the back). ALSO NOTE: the card deck in the photo is not included — just there to give you a sense of scale and size of portrait.
If you have a room where you hang posters and 8×10’s of magic’s past greats, then UF Grant definitely deserves a spot on the wall. And this limited edition item may go up in value over the years, right?
#4 The 24×36 inch window poster
If the wood portrait of the great Mr. Grant did not take up all the remaining wall space in your magic den, you can also put up this much larger tribute to the man. The poster shows some still shots from the DVDs, a few of the covers of Grant publications, and boldly proclaims Grant to be “an American Original”.
Text Source: themagicgadgetsite.com - click for details
(Notice: This does not come with any instructions.)( Post Source: martinsmagic.com - click for details )