The Secret Ways of Al Baker (2003)


Original mint-condition copies in stock for immediate shipping.

We recently uncovered first-printing copies of our out-of-print 2003 classic, The Secret Ways of Al Baker, containing some of the greatest thinking and effects in magic literature. We are releasing a number of books directly from our original stock – mint and still in their original shrink wrap – at a very reasonable price. Copies normally go for $300-500 and up when you can find them.

Al Baker was one of the most creative figures in magic, a master of close-up, stage magic and Mentalism. Now ALL his legendary works are back in print in this huge volume, plus unpublished effects and more. This massive work contains 912 large-format, acid-free, satin-finish pages, hardbound with beautiful full-color dust-jacket by artist Katlyn Breene.

Original new copies from warehouse find
912 pages hardbound with dust jacket
Complete versions of Al Baker’s books Magical Ways and Means, Pet Secrets, Al Baker’s Book, Al Baker’s Second Book, Cardially Yours, and Mental Magic.
Over 700 illustrations
Over 200 additional Baker effects from notes, instructions and journals
A dazzling array of never-before-seen Baker photos and rare memorabilia
Numerous added illustrations by Katlyn Breene
Plus profiles and essays by Eugene Burger, John Carney, Jay Marshall, Max Maven, and Teller

“For me, Al Baker has been a source of deep magical inspiration. I consider Al Baker to be one of the giants of twentieth-century magic.”
— Eugene Burger

In stock



A Teacher I Never Met Eugene Burger
Al Baker and the Magical Ideal John Carney
The Recipe Teller
Editor's Note Todd Karr
The Cat Kept Walking Jay Marshall
Conversations with Jay Marshall
Al Baker and Dennis Jay Marshall
Sketch of My Life Al Baker

The Pack that Cuts Itself
The One Man “Lights Up” Séance
A Card and a Number
Al Baker’s Pet Hat Trick
Al Baker’s Rising Cards
Feel My Pulse!
The Al Baker Wrist Tie
The Impossible Card Discovery
Cards of Thought
Al Baker’s Addition Trick
Another Rope is Cut and Restored!
The Finger Points
The Matchmakers
“Say When!”
Al Baker’s Billet Mystery
The Self-Unknotting Handkerchief

A Glass Vanish
Another 4-Ace Trick!
Your Pulse Tells
A Card and a Number
Baker’s Bill Switch
Unsight and Unseen
Sex Appeal
Come Seven
Lost and Found
Something from Nothing
Pass the Salt!
Button Button!
The Name Is – !
Me and the Missus
A Novel Escape
The Milky Way

Foreword Elmer P. Ransom

Chapter 1: Cards
A Lesson in Magic
The Magician at Home
Red-Black Transposition
One Deck Do As I Do
The Half Card and Cigarette Trick
The Ambitious Card
Herrmann’s Vanish of a Fan of Cards
“Roughing” It
Outguessing the Spectator
Improved Card Code for Two Persons
The Walking and Jumping Card
The Flapless Envelope Switch
The Knife Dial
Slipping the Cut
The Swinging Rising Cards
Poker Face
Miniature Card in Balloon

Chapter 2: Coins and Bills
The Magical Filtration of Four Half Dollars
The Stack of Quarters
The Rising Coin
A Dinner Table Trick
Bending a Half Dollar
A Knotty Problem
Dollar Bill and Cigarette
The Erectile Dollar Bill
The Dollar Bill Switch
Envelopes and Coin

Chapter 3: Silks
The Twentieth Century Silk Trick
Phantom Tube
Spirits at Work
A Silk Force
The Knot That Just Won’t
The Sympathetic Silks

Chapter 4: Ropes
Give a Magician Enough Rope
A Rope Interlude

Chapter 5: Mindreading
Cooperative Conjuring
Acme Mindreading Effect
Seeing Through Solid Matter
A Super-Superprediction
Al Baker Number Force
The Baker Slate Easel
Any Telephone Book Test
The Number and Book Test

Chapter Six: Mnemonics
The Saturday Evening Post Feat
Phenomenal Memory
An Impossible Count
The Celebrity Feat
The Polish Psychic
Living and Dead Test Plus
A Miracle of Memory
The Pairs Repaired

Chapter 7: The Linking Rings
Linking Rings Opening
The Linking Rings

Chapter 8: Specialties
The Levitation of a Glass of Liquid
The Naomi Goldfish Bowl Production
Ink Filtration
Welded Flash Paper
Glass Penetration
The Flying Match Head
Kiddie Party Slate
The Torn and Restored Paper Napkin
The Quick and the Dead
The Cut and Restored Necktie

Appendix: Manuscript Materials
A Lesson in Magic
The Knife Dial
The Linking Rings


Chapter 1
First Lesson in Mind Reading Technique
The Baker Switch

Chapter 2
New Light on the Center Tear
The Baker Method of Reading the Center Tear

Chapter 3
Telephone Mysteries
A Telemirakel
Over the Phone

Chapter 4
Mental Magic Effects
Baker’s Eight Card Trick
Thought Transmission
Al Baker’s Envelope Switch
Envelope as an Accessory
Parlor Telepathy
Pellet Reading
Out of the Air
Baker Switch Number 2
Secret Reading of Billets
Pseudo-Fortune Telling Séance
The Dead Man’s Name
Mental Card Tricks
The Pulse of the People
The Stethoscope
Telepathy for Two
Unconscious Clairvoyance
The Magic Bell

Adrian Plate’s System of Mnemonics
Fortune Telling Significance of Playing Cards
Recapitulation of Al Baker’s Rules

Foreword Dai Vernon
Introduction Jean Hugard

Chapter 1: Hair Magic
Hair Secrets
The Baker General Utility Hook-up
The Double-Ended Hook-up
Double-Breasted Hook-up
The Balancing Card
The Card From the Hat
The Deck That Cuts Itself
The Simplex Rising Cards
The Rising Ring
The Grandfather Clock Trick
Miscellaneous Hair Tricks

Chapter 2: Thread Magic
The Al Baker Arabian Beads
Floating Glass of Milk
The Hindu Thread Trick
Coin Production

Chapter 3: Rope Magic
The Instantaneous Visible Restoration
The Al Baker Lightning Pull
The Doctor Cuts a Rope
Ring and Tape Penetration
Variation on Stretching a Rope

Chapter 4: Card Magic
The Jet-Propelled Card
Double Impossibility
Color Flight
The Spectator Does the Trick
The Impossible Force
The Baker “Readers”
Mental Discernment
The Lie Detector
Long-Distance Telepathy
The Clairvoyant Spectator
How to Force a Card
The Card Between Glass Plates
Jumbo Switch
Giant Gambling

Chapter 5: Mental Magic
Double Thought
One-Man Billet Reading
The Baker Billet Switch
Center Tear Tip
Mental Masterpiece
The Telepathic Miracle

Chapter 6: Money Magic
The Baker Bill Tear
The Stack of Quarters
The Vanishing Quarter
Fun with the Money-Making Machine
Dime and Penny Gag
The Bill in the Borrowed Lemon

Chapter 7: Magic from Another World
The Baker Spirit Photo

Chapter 8: Various Magic
The Baker Chewing Gum Trick
Finesse with the Dye Tube
The Vanishing Glass of Water
Salt Flight
Silk Transportation
Sugar Cube Vanish
Goldfish Production
Bar Trick Fooler
Egg Finale
Rabbit Production
The Obedient Snake
The Short Highball


Billet Reading Extraordinary
Two-Person Slate Test
My Method of Getting Rid of Flap While in Audience
How to Exchange a Pack of Cards for a Prearranged Pack
The Billet Test
The Pack That Cuts Itself
Living and Dead Test
Al Baker’s Deck of Cards
Mind Reading Card Trick
Two Souls with but a Single Thought

The Card Counting Mystery
The Two Card Location
Mind Reading Trick
Al Baker’s Wonderful Prediction
Al Baker’s Famous Two Souls Trick
Poker Face

Color Flight
Out On Location
Eyes All Around
The Fall of the Wise
A Dirty Trick
Al Baker’s Stacked Deck
The One I Like

EFFECTS 1, 2, AND 3 (Ca. 1939)

CARD TRIO (1948)
Prediction Trick
Cards Across
The Pack That Cuts Itself

Al - N - Dai
“Al” Producto
Ball and Glass Trick
Bead Trick
Cut and Restrung Bead Trick
Bak-Had Bead Trick
Best Card Trick
A Borrowed Cigarette Remade
Card and Envelope
Card in Pocketbook
Checking the Dead Name
Cutting a Card
Dictionary Trick
Diminishing Cards
Dyeing Tube Method
The Great Purse Game
Improved Swami
Living and Dead Problem
Mindreading Trick
Monte Surprise
My Pet Card Trick
Newspaper Trick
Number, Please
Oh Bunk
Plate-Biting Stunt
Ribbon Trick
Rice Bowls
Ring Around Rosie
Rope Routine
Salt Trick
Spirit Slates
Master Addition Slate
Lock Spirit Slate
Tea Table Telepathy
Telepathic Selection
Thought Transmission
Torn and Restored Paper Strip
Photographic Coins
Copper or Silver: Which?
Cards and Coins
Vanishing Lead Pencil
Vanishing Wand
With Any Telephone Book Test
Leon Maguire Magazine Test

A Prediction
Cherchez La Femme
Eye Witnesses
The Finger Knows and Tells
The Magic Thrust
The Migrating Cards
Mysterious Divination
A Problem in Plumbago
Red-Black Detection
Snappy Number
Switching the Deck
Think “Stop”
Twin Souls


Brotherhood Secrets
A Letter

Strip Tease
Two Ideas of Al Baker

Hugard’s Magical Monthly
Change for a Dollar

The Jinx

The Phoenix

The Sphinx
Card Rising Wand
Some Useful Hints for Young Magicians
More Hints
If the Editor Printed the Things He Would Like to Say
Al Baker Says
Al Baker’s Reflections
Al Baker's Philosophy
Al Baker’s Phantasies
Wisdom and Wizardry
More Tricks and Wisdom
More Wisdom and Tricks
More Tricks and Wisdom
More Tricks and Wisdom
Al Baker Goes Visiting
My Way of Doing Two Tricks
Tricks and Likes and Dislikes
Another Trick and Letter
Those Were the Happy Days
Presto! Blooey!
Magic Around Times Square
Al Baker’s Magic News (October 1932)
Al Baker’s Magic News (November 1932)
A Letter to Harold (December 1932)
A Letter to Harold (February 1933)
A Letter to Harold (March 1933)
A Letter to Harold (April 1933)
A Letter to Harold (May 1933)
Cards from Hat
Another Luncheon Conversation
Message from Beyond
Al Baker’s Method
A Vanishing Glass of Milk
Dematerializing Coins
Trilby, Jr.
The Weigh of All Flesh
What Makes a Trick
Catching Coins
Magician’s Nightmare
The Boy, the Bottle, and Guinea Pig
A New Letter
“Here’s Another One Here, Doctor”
Dollar ’n’ Blitzen
A Letter to Harold (January 1948)
A Letter to Harold (March 1948)
Tricks I Like
A Letter to Harold (December 1949)
A Letter to Harold (October 1950)
Bottoms Down

Another Card-Finding Stunt
Another Subtle Mystery
Attaching Hairs
Best Card Trick
Second Method
For Two Persons
Bill Trick
Burned Ribbon Trick
Card and Safety Match Trick
Card Change
Card Force
Card Force Using Short Card
Card Found at Chosen Number
Card from the Hat
Finger Tip Method
Clockwork Method
New Improved Rising Card from Hat
Card in Wallet
New Method
Cards and Dice Trick
Cards Up the Sleeve
Cigar Band Trick
Cigarette Paper Trick
Cigarette Trick
Coin in Envelope
Coin in the Ball of Wool
Color-Changing Handkerchief Through Fist
Cups and Balls
Cutting a Card in Half
Cutting the Same Number of Cards Counted
Deck and Envelopes
Developing Messages Before the Audience
Dice Trick
Dictionary and Postal Card
Dollar Bill Trick
Dollar Bill Vanish
Dyeing Handkerchief Trick
Eyesight Trick
Five Nickels
Four Ace Tricks Using Envelopes
Giant Memory Card Trick
Glass of Water and Coin
Harmonica Trick
Hooked Coins
Latest Rope Effect: The Sliding Knots
Living and Dead Trick
Improved Living and Dead Trick
Impromptu Living and Dead Trick
Mathematical Number Trick
Mental Force
Mental Trick
MInd-Reading Card Trick
Mind Reading with a Pack of Cards
Improved Version
Miracle Man’s Penny Trick
Name and Calling Card Trick
Old Coin Game
Pack That Cuts Itself
Pellets and Cards Trick
Penetrating Coins
Pretty Paper Trick
Psychic Ball and Card Trick
Psychic Photography
Psychic Photography Improved
Latest Psychic Photography
Ribbon Laundry
Ring Trick
Roterberg Card Box Trick
Simplified Roterberg Card Box Trick
Selected Card Found
Sense of Touch Card Trick
Slate Trick
Spelling Trick
To Spell Chosen Card
Spirit Dollar Bill Trick
Stabbing Card Trick
Improved Stabbing Card Trick
Stack of Coins Through the Hand
Stop Trick
Strange Coincidence
Stretched Bill
Super Cut and Restored Rope
Sympathetic Cards
Sympathetic Coins
Ten Cards and Envelope Trick
Thirty Card Trick
Latest Thirty Card Trick
Method 2
Method 3
Method 4
Method 5
Thought Foretold
Thread Trick
Three Card Trick
Thumb Tip Preparation
To Name Any Card Drawn
To Perform with a Borrowed, Shuffled Pack
To Tell the Name of Any Card
To Tell the Number of Cards
Torn and Restored Strip of Paper
Tube and Rings Trick
Twentieth Century Handkerchief Trick
Two-Person Mental Card Trick
Two-Person Mind-Reading
Ubiquitous Card
Vanishing Coin from Handkerchief
Weight Trick
Wonderful Four Card and Pellets Mystery
Yale Lock Key Trick
You Do As I Do With One Pack

Unpublished Baker manuscript



Introduction to The Book Without a Name
Greta Annemann
Torn and Restored Magazine Page
Editrivia: Baker in The Jinx
The Accidental Mentor
Introduction Max Maven
Annemann Letters to Baker

Mr. Al Baker
Sphinx Cover Story (1925)
A Visit with Al Baker John Braun
Al Baker, Comedian C. T. (Cliff) Green
Al Baker Programme
Sphinx Cover Story (1929)
Al Baker’s Psychology Harlan Tarbell
Sphinx Cover Story (1937)
A Great Guy Dorny
1944 Sphinx Al Baker Issue
1948 Fiftieth Anniversay Bruce Reynolds
Recollections of Al Baker Walter B. Gibson



BILLETS DEUX Phil Goldstein
Baker's Doesn't

The Magic Funnel
Egg Bag
Wrist Tie
Magic Shop Gags


Additional information

Weight 6 lbs
Dimensions 8 × 10 × 3 in
Regular Edition

Regular edition



Preface Todd Karr

Introduction Max Maven

Foreword Steranko

Annemann: An Enigma Todd Karr



The X-Ray Act
An Additional Effect of the X-Ray Eyes
Argamasilla’s Super-Vision (?)
Emerson, Master Mystic
A Sealed Letter Test with Cards
A Different Color Change
A Mind-Reading Mystery
Improvement on “Secret of the Swami”
A Si Stebbins Kink
The Devil’s Four Aces
Another Four Ace Maneuvre
An Original Tray Vanish

The Ghost Card
The Better Yet Box, Rod, and Rings Challenge
A New (?) Reverse Card Trick
A P & L Four Ace Suggestion
A Club or Stage Mental Number
A New Slate Writing Wrinkle
A Subtle Poker Stunt
To Satisfy an Argument
The Cigarette and Dollar Bill Again
The East Indian Needle Feat
Three Card Monte Outdone
Attention, Mentalists!
My Original Swami Test
A Mediumistic Stunt
The Master Mind
An Idea

Mentalex (?)
The Simplified Telephone Mystery
Letter on Ballot Box
Improvement 8000
My Doll Production
Wanted – For a New Effect
The Supreme Book Test
A Good Coin Vanish

A Couple Card Wrinkles

A Little Article Regarding “Copped” Material
No Title at All
A Radio Publicity Feat
Let’s Be Different
Annemann’s Book Test

A Monster Master Mysterious Mystery
A Single Sitting Billet-Reading and Slate Test
Just Think of a Card

Slate Writing Par Excellence

The Annemann Torn Card Method
The Passe-Passe Cards
New Marvelous Two-Card Slate Prophesy

A Dead Name Duplication
Ne Plus Ultra Reading Method

Number, Please (second version) (1933)


Annemann’s Challenge Mind Test (1926)
Getit (1928)
Answerit (1928)
33¢ Think of a Card (1928)
Nightmare Effects (1928)
Diabolo Pellet Reading (1928)
44 Cent Mystery Card Reading Method (1928)
55 Cent Card Memory (1928)
Psychic Writing (1928)
The Master’s Touch (1929)
Annemann’s Mental Masterpiece (1929)
30th Century Television (1929) Hewitt
The Modern Mind Reader (1929) Hewitt
Fourth Dimensional Telepathy (1930)
Eyes of the Unknown (1930) Greta Annemann
The Modern Mindreader (1930) Hewitt
Coincidence? (1930) Hewitt
Penetrating Vision (1930) J. G. Thompson
Remote Control (1931)
The Test of the Tiber (1931)
Card and Pocket Miracle (1932)
The New Double Telepathy Routine (1933)
A Matter of Policy (1935)


Master Subtleties with Cards (ca. 1928)
Annemann’s Single Card Location
Annemann’s Cut Pack Card Location
Annemann’s Ne Plus Ultra Card Location
Annemann’s Five-Card Thought Trick
Annemann’s Five-Card Stab Trick
Annemann’s One Way Set-Up
Annemann’s One to Ten Detection
Annemann’s Pair Detection
Annemann’s Audience Location
Annemann’s Alternate Detection
Another Card Discovery
Red and Black
Odd and Even
Improvement on the Pair Detection
Another Presentation of the Alternate Detection
Another Reverse Move
Faces or Backs, Which?
Different Reversible Backs

Exclusive Secrets of Annemann’s Conception a.k.a. “The Fifty Dollar Manuscript” (ca. 1930)
Anneman’s Stop Trick
Another Stop Card Effect
Cards in the Cases
Anneman’s Four Ace Routine
The Thought Mystery Card
With Back Towards Spectator
Anneman’s Own Pellet Trick
Red and Blue Decks
Color-Changing Deck
You Took the Selected Card
The New Spelling Card Trick
A Deck of Cards and Two Envelopes

Individual Effect Manuscripts
Color-Changing Back
A Mulholland and Annemann Pet
Original Sympathy Effect
The Red and Blue Back Color Change
Annemann’s Two-Card Transposition
Wire Release


Annemann’s Card Miracles (1929)
Editor’s Introduction
The Five-Card Stabbing Mystery
The Eye-Popper Card Feat
Poker Player’s Dream
The “You Spell It Yourself” Feat
A Day-Time Nightmare

Annemann’s Mental Miracles (1929)
The Premier Book Test
The Mentalist’s Card Staggerer
The Psychic Writing
Instantaneous Card Memory
Phantasma: A Mental Card Feat
Addenda: Traveling Thought Card Trick (date unknown, original of Phatasma)

The Book Without a Name (1931)
Introduction Al Baker
The “Really New” Locator Card
An Original Set-Up Discovery
One in Fourteen
A New Thought-Card Spelling Effect
Whichever You Please
Count Your Card!
Telepathy in the Audience
The Red and Blue Back Mixup
The Gambler is Person
The Gambler is Back Again
Psychic Sympathy
The Four Pile Location
The Genii Cut-Deck Location
The Mystery Card Reading Method
A New Apparatus for the Pellet Switch
Find the Lady
The Improved Magic Square Presentation
The One-Man “Genuine” Magazine Test
Mental Coloring: Telepathy in Silk Stuart Robson
The Color-Tell Billiard Balls
Seeing in the Dark
Seven Keys to Baldpate
A Prophecy of the Koran
Jimmy Valentine Opens a Safe

101 Methods of Forcing (1932)

Strange Secrets (1932-3)
1. Insto-Transpo!
2. “Stop”
3. The Dollar Cigarette Challenge
4. Remote Control Improved
5. and 6. The Accessory
5. Mental Dollars
6. Number, Please (first version)
7. Sensitive Thoughts
8. The Card Doctor
9. Slates and Aces
11. Poker Plus
12. Thought, In Person
14. A Mental Headache

202 Methods of Forcing (1933)
Second Introduction

Climax Card Routine (1933)
The Principle
The Magical Application
A Card Location
Top and Bottom Location
Before Starting
The Half-Moon Location
Location Plus
The Improved Version of “Everybody’s Choice”
A Snappy Finish
The Stage Location
The Master Card Speller
The Mystic Cut
Counting by Eye
Odd or Even
To Slick Cards Up After Wearing Off
Re-Slicking Cards

Sh-h-h-h! It’s a Secret! (1934)
Introduction as Usual
Call Me Up Sometime
The Borrowed Deck Tragedy
Help Wanted in the Dark
A Thought is Fathomed
Your Nose Knows
A Rule of the Thumb
A Handkerchief is Selected E. Leslie May
A Card is Found Once More
Odd or Even, Which?
The Alternate Detection
A New Kink for the Reversing of One Card
Annemann’s Eight-in-a-Row Location
Red or Black?
The Challenge of the Year
The Mind in Retrospect
The Five-Card Thought Effect
The Guessing Contest
The Two-Person Location
A Couple of Cards Get Together
The New Deal Card Code
The Perfect Club Slate Routine
Fair and Square
Dual Sympathy
Another Sympathetic Mystery
Triplets by Chance
The Last of the “Think Stop” Tricks
Your Card
The Tune Detective
The Mindreader’s Dream
Music in the Air
A Quaint Happening
The Prophecy of Occurence
The 203rd Force Henry Christ
Nickels on the Brain
Despair of the Devil
The Lady and the Gentleman
The Bell Mystery
Three Cards, Three Numbers
The $1000 Test Card Location
Dead Men Tell No Tales!

Annemann’s Complete One-Man Mental and Psychic Routine (1935)
Billet Switching
Magic vs. Mindreading
The Telephone Drama
The Dead Name Test
The New Nile Divination
Book Mentalism
Telepathy Plus
Addenda: Author’s Note
The Master Mind
The Act
Author’s Note Again
The Mirror Reflector
A Living and Dead Combination
The Sealed Envelope Dodge
The Spirit Pencil
Advance Information
Pencil Reading

Annemann’s Mental Bargain Effects (1935)
The Impromptu Mind Reader

En Rapport (1937)

The Jinx Programs (1938)
Jinx Program No. 1: A Club Act of Magic
Jinx Program No. 2: A Mental Club Act
Jinx Program No. 3: A Magical Club Program
Jinx Program No. 4: A No-Card Mystery Act
Jinx Program No. 5: “No Code” Telepathy

Other Books
A Newspaper Office Stunt
The Short Card
Introduction to Encyclopedia of Card Tricks
The Ambitious Card

Mind Over Money
Mind Over Money
The Window Washer’s Dream
Ted Annemann’s Favorite Location
Quickie: A Clever “Set-up” Effect
It Goes Double
Aces at Random
New Deck Speller
Any Deck One-Way
One-Way Mark Located
Nail Writer Techniques
A Couple of Numbers
More About Ted
Turnover Card
Card on the Ceiling
A Sheet of Glass
Two-Pellet Routine with One Person
Duplicated Name
Needle Variation