Duke Stern’s Unusual Trip

Duke Stern Takes An Unusual Trip


From “TOPS” Magazine, May 1968. By Duke Stern: “On Wednesday, March 27th, Recil Bordner, owner of Abbott’s, and your humble scribe, went to New Haven, Conn., to complete the purchase of the Petrie-Lewis Manufacturing Co. Due to other plans, Mr. Bordner had to return to Colon the next day, so this writer was left with the fantastic job of getting all the equipment, machinery, supplies and merchandise ready for loading on a truck. If it wasn’t for the valuable help of a grand guy named Bernie Walsh, along with some members of both the New Haven Magic Society and the New Haven I.B.M Ring, this writer would probably still be there, amid the reels, table base, thumb tips, wand shells, machinery, lathes, dies, patterns and dust.

Meeting Mrs. Lonna Petrie, wife of the late “Tod” Petrie, was the nicest thing that happened to me during my four days of packing. She’s a gracious and lovely lady.

Abbott’s Magic Company now owns the P & L Magic Company completely. This includes all the rights, instructions, plans, and stock, etc. While going through literally tons of stuff your scribe came across many old and odd pieces, including items from the days when P & L made magic and puzzles set for “Gilbert Magic,” as well as items P & L made before they went into the magic business.

It will be quite a while before we can start into the production of the P & L line, but when we do, The Abbott Company will maintain the top quality and attention to detail that made P & L so world famous.

Had the pleasure of attending meetings of both the New Haven I.B.M Ring and the New Haven Magic Society, and spent a fabulous evening with Dr. Grossman, looking over his tremendous collection of early books, catalogues and magic apparatus. Actually had in my hands the original edition of Scott’s “Discovery of Witchcraft,” printed in the 1580’s, as well as the book written by King James in 1616, wherein he admitted he believed in witchcraft!

When finally packed, the P & L equipment and supplies completely filled a 16-ft, truck we hired to haul everything back to Colon.

Again, a sincere thanks to Bernie Walsh, who also drove the truck to our spare warehouse here in Colon. We went from New Haven to Niagara Falls and then on through Canada, and back to the U.S. via Windsor – Detroit. Did you ever try to explain to the customs officials what a “truck load of magic” means? That’s one experience neither of us will ever forget.”