Several years ago when I started working on my Take Up Reel, someone told me to contact Granville Taylor as he knew a lot of about them. The person mentioned that Granville was pretty secretive about magic methods. I found his website and notice he had a book about John Martin who was a magic builder. I send him an email asking about the book, and also seeing if he wanted to chat reels.
I never heard back.
Then about a week ago a copy of his book John Martin: The Master Magical Mechanic – A Genius at Work popped up on ebay at and extremely high price. I messaged the seller and we agreed upon a much more reasonable price.
The book just showed up and I’m waiting to read it as I’ve got a few things ahead of it. Just flipping through it, it’s an interesting book. Starting with it looking like a home printed and bound book. All of the pages are printed on one side…I have a feeling it’s going to be an interesting read!
Here’s the blurb of 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.