Take a Bow, Abbott;s 1966

From The Colon Express, August 17, 1966: “Abbott’s Magic Get-Together, the magicians’ Mecca, has convened as is its custom every third week in August. Colon, the Magic Capitol of the World, is pleased as punch and very proud to host our annual visitors.

Percy Abbott evolved the idea of his magic factory in 1933 and ’34. he’d followed his famous father, Henry Abbott, into the show-business world of the magician and traveled all over the world as an entertainer. After he’s married and begun to raise a family, he felt the need to settle permanently, and the production of equipment for magicians gave him the reason to do so.

Colon was fortunate to have been the summer quarters of Harry Blackstone’s troupe. Harry invited Percy here for a vacation, Percy fell in love with a local girl, married, and consequently settled down. So we have the magic factory.

Abbott’s Magic Co. began as a one-man business in a rented room over a grocery store. It grew so fast that Percy needed a partner and a building. Recil Bordner joined forces with him, and they moved into a one-time carriage factory which they painted black and decorated with the white dancing skeletons. In 1938 the old building burned to the ground, so they built a cement block structure on the site and bought some more black paint and drew more skeletons.

In 1948 Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy made a surprise appearance at the Get-Together. One year a real wedding was performed on stage at the Get-Together. When the factory itself became too small to stage the Get-Togethers, they were held in a tent, or out of town. When the new Colon High School in 1961 the Get-Together public shows had found a new home.

Colon has proved to be a good buffer for the inventors of magic paraphernalia. We’re small and so don’t draw so many outside visitors to the factory that work is disrupted, and big enough to supply the business with employees. We’re blasé enough, by now, to take in our stride the assembling of an illusion on the street when it can’t be contained in the building, and yet we’re eager to help make the Get-Together successful.

Abbott’s manufactures some 1,500 items for magicians. It has sheet metal, woodworking, tool and die, metal casting, blacksmith and machine shops and sewing, assembling, chemical, and paint departments. It also has its own print shop for publishing its monthly magic magazine, TOPS, which is strictly for the magician and is sent to magician-subscribers all over the world. The print shop also prints the directions and labels and patter for the company’s products, and the catalog listing the items for sale. There’s an ample showroom with a stage for demonstrating tricks to prospective customers and TOPS editor Neil Foster doubles as chief demonstrator. Small wonder Neil’s one of the best in the business, practicing before his brother magicians all the time!

To say we’re proud of Abbott’s, proud of being the Magic Capital, is an understatement of the first water. We’re “Colon, the Magic Capitol” all in one breath, a distinctive, inventive, humor-loving society of individuals who prefer it all just the way it is. “Happy Anniversary, Recil”

 

Recil Bordner is president and owner. His employees, listed in alphabetical order are:

Glenn Babbs ………………………….Woodworking Dept.

Archie Capman Jr……………………..………..Metal Dept.

Jerry Conklin ……………………….Shipping & Receiving

Eda Mae Cubbernuss …………………………….Secretary

Mary Decker………………………..Sewing & Assembling

Irene Elliott..………………………..Sewing & Assembling

Ray Fillmore…………………………………..Plastic Dept.

Jeanne Foster ………………………………….…..Account

Neil Foster ………………………Editor of TOPS Magazine

Walter Jacob……………………………..……..Metal Dept.

Caroline Merrill…………………………….…Flower Dept.

Fred Merrill………………………………….…..Paint Dept

Gordon Miller…………………….…Shipping & Receiving

Everett Myers………………………….Woodworking Dept.

Ken Murray ……………………………….TOPS Magazine

Dorotha Osborn…………………..…Sewing & Assembling

Marian Pilipick………………………………..…..Secretary

Walter Schroeder………………………………….…Printer

Duke Stern…………………………………..Sales Manager

Bud West………………………………Woodworking Dept.

 

Percy Abbott (1886 – 1960) has become an iconic figure in the world of magic. He is most famous for building a world renown magic manufacturing company from the ground up – Abbott’s Magic Co. The first Abbott’s Magic Get Together was Saturday, Sept. 15, 1934 and was attended by 80 magicians. Percy Abbot appeared at the Get-Together in
1934,1935,1936,1937,1938,1940,1941,1942,1943,1946,1952, and 1955.