I finished reading the book JOHN MARTIN. The Master Magical Mechanic. A Genius at Work. It was an interesting book, full of history. Personally I would have liked a little bit more details about the props that John Martin made. There was a lot about what would be the “dealer description” but a lot less about how it actually functioned or what little touches he added.
The book was written by Granville Taylor and it talks a lot about him and how he used Martin’s props (still not much technical detail). I’m glad I read it, it gave me a much more solid background on John Martin and his contributions to the vanishing birdcage!
Here’s what’s in the book:
JOHN MARTIN. The Master Magical Mechanic. A Genius at Work.
Book written and published by Granville Taylor (Faust the Magician).
New. A limited edition of 250 copies, each one numbered and signed by the author. 105 pages, including 24 pages in full colour, with over 100 colour photographs, plus 10 detailed workshop plans of some of the Martin replicas made by Granville Taylor. Preface by Peter Diamond. Introduction by Professor Edwin A.Dawes. The book, A4 size, is stapled and bound with red Rexine cardboard covers.
Chapters: Martin’s Early Days, Magical Equipment Made by Martin, My Introduction to Martin, My Turn to Shake Hands with a Legend, More Visits to Martin, Touring the World, Taylor-Made Magic & Martin Replicas, My Martin Equipment, Is it a Martin?, Granville Taylor assisted by Martin, Memories of Jan Martin Recalled by Prof.Guy Higgins, Leo Burns, Photographs of My Martin Equipment, Photographs of Taylor-Made Replicas of some of Martin’s Equipment, Photographs of Martin Equipment from the John & Anne Davenport Collection, Photographs of some Martin Equipment from the Peter Nicol Collection. Plus 10 Workshop Plans for Taylor-Made Martin Replicas: Poker size Rising Cards, The Coin Shooter, Release Clip for Lines for Coin Shooter and Holdout, Vanishing Birdcage Clip, The Martin “Butterfly” & Improvements, Small Butterfly Production, The Handkerchief Vanisher, Lit Cigarette Vanisher, Gadget for Cutting Rope Ends, The Cigarette Dropper.
Granville Taylor (Faust the Magician) knew Martin in the last few years of Martin’s life, watched him at work, and ordered several items for his show. He owned and presented the only illusion Martin ever built (The Aerial Suspension), and, over the years he has bought more rare Martin equipment, which he has used in his shows around the world. This book is a fitting tribute to The World’s Master Magical Mechanic.