Percy Abbott’s Final Magic “Get-together”
From the South Bend Tribune, 1959: “COLON – Percy Abbott, world-renowned illusionist, who made a hobby into the world’s largest magic factory, will retire from his mystic trade after two one-man shows in September.
The only U. S. Show will be staged by the “magician’s magician” at the 26th annual Abbott’s Magic Get-Together, at Coldwater, the week of Sept. 7 through 12. He will make his final professional appearance Sept. 16 at the British IBM Convention at Bruxton, England.
General manager Recil Bordner, Abbott’s manufacturing partner, announced that the Coldwater meeting will be the final Abbott’s Get-Together as Percy enters semi-retirement.
The Abbott family will continue to operate their magic factory here which employs up to 50 persons during peak seasons and manufactures trade equipment ranging in cost from 10 cents to $1,500.
Abbott, who came to this country in 1930, is completing his life story, being published under the title, “Magic of a Life Time.”
The factory, and Percy personally, tale credit from most of the world’s most noted magicians for changing expensive, cumbersome props into lightweight, collapsible articles. Most of the manufacturing is done in plastic and aluminum.
Abbott has appeared on other get-together programs, but only as a last-minute fill-in.
Bordner said the final performance of Abbott will probably bring a turnout of the world’s greatest magicians. Abbott has been associated, at one time or another in his lifetime, with most of the greats of the profession.
Abbott’s book covers his many years and hundreds of experiences in all parts of the world, his early years in Australia, his numerous trips through the Orient and his knowledge of the early originations of today’s popular illusions and his experiences with other great magicians. The book also includes many of his effects in magic, with full explanations.
Percy began using magic at the age of 10 and ended up living here after a fishing trip to Southwestern Michigan. He met Gladys Goodrich here and they were married, raising two sons and a daughter.
Perhaps his most famous trick is the vanishing water glass. The Abbott firm has manufactured and sold over 70,000 of the items. His clients are both amateur and professional and he has even invented some of those advertising sign gimmicks.
There is speculation that his last U.S. show will probably be his greatest and will bring out an unusual following of the public and professionals to Coldwater.
The semi-retirement is a term that leaves Abbott an out if he ever wants to return to the stage. A showman can’t resist being a showman, Abbott explains.”