Dai Vernon Revelations 30th Anniversary Boxed Set

Dai Vernon

Dai Vernon’s Revelations – 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Box Set

Complete Set Includes:
The 17 original volumes re-mastered on 8 DVDs
Vernon Lectures – 1973, 1976, 1977 restored on 3 DVDs
Vintage Vernon Audio Tapes, Now on Four CDs
Notes on Dai Vernon’s Farewell Lecture by Dr. Gene Matsuura
1983 Videonics Catalog Facsimile

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Please note that this DVD set is excluded from all L&L Publishing sales & offers. 

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David Ben’s introduction that appears in the beginning of Gene Matsuura’s notes booklet:

Will wonders never cease? When it comes to Dai Vernon, apparently not.

Dai Vernon 30th Anniversary RevelationsThis celebration of the 30th anniversary of Revelations, the series produced originally in 1982 by Hans Zahn in Newfoundland, attests to that amazing legacy and it provides yet another generation of magicians – old and new – the chance to experience Dai Vernon and his magic.

This compilation is much more than just a repackaging of the original discs.  With additional footage from the celebrated $1,000 Lecture Tour in the mid-1970s, private videos shot by Bill “The Prez” Larsen at The Magic Castle, and supporting documentation and ephemera, magic aficionados and historians now have an accurate portrayal of perhaps the most celebrated thinker and performer in magic during his “Late Period.”

Let me explain.

Vernon was an artist and, like other great artists of the 20th century, had several “periods” defined by the magic he performed, the roles he played and the company he kept. The sub-title of my biography on Vernon is “Artist, Magician, Muse” and I chose those words because they indicate the varied roles he played in the three periods of his artistic life: Early Vernon, Middle Vernon, and Late Vernon.

Early Vernon covers the period between roughly 1915 and 1941.  Then, Vernon explored card table artifice, traveling around the country, ferreting out the secret practitioners such as Dad Stevens and Allen Kennedy. He developed the Cups and Balls, the Linking Rings, Coins Through the Table, close-up magic at the Casino De Paree, the Harlequin Act, and Dai Yen. His circle included, among others, Larry Gray, Leo Horowitz, Paul Rosini, Charles Miller, Dr. Jacob Daley and Francis Carlyle.  It ends with his devastating fall from scaffolding in New York that broke his arms but not his spirit.  It is the era of his most groundbreaking work and artistic achievements.

Middle Vernon encompasses the period from 1942 until 1962.  Here, Vernon willingly began to share his personal secrets with the rank-and-file of magic.  Yes, he still performed, spending the better part of a decade on cruise ships from New York to South America. But what separates Middle Vernon from Early Vernon was his accessibility and desire to share information through books, lectures, and roundtable discussions.  His circle during this period included Bill Simon, Herb Zarrow, Ken Krenzel, Howie Schwarzman, and Persi Diaconis.  Fortunately, L & L Publishing has consolidated much of the material he created in the Early and Middle Periods in The Essential Dai Vernon.

Late Vernon dates from 1963 until his death in 1992, and began with his traveling to Hollywood and what would become his new home – after one week – The Magic Castle.  Here, Vernon became the muse.  Although he still performed on occasion, and with much self-deprecation, his primary role was to act as raconteur, offering his musings and technical annotations through the pages of Genii, from the couch in the corner outside the close-up room of the Castle, or at conventions when escorted by Bill Bowers, Bill Larsen, or Vernon’s own muse, Irene Larsen. Much of this work is documented in The Chronicles, written by Stephen Minch, The Castle Notebooks by Bruce Cervon – both published by L & L Publishing – and The Vernon Touch, released by the Genii Corporation.  Interestingly, his circle of students came in waves.

The first wave, in the mid to late 1960s, included Larry Jennings, Bruce Cervon and Mike Skinner.  The second wave in the early and mid ’70s included, among others, David Roth, Earl Nelson, Steve Freeman, Jeff Altman and Brad Berlin.  Finally, the third wave of the late ’70s and early ’80s included magicians such as Michael Ammar and John Carney.

While there is little film or video footage of Vernon from either the Early or Middle Periods, there is now an abundance of footage – thanks to this box set – of the Late Period and, in particular, Vernon during the second and third waves.

So, why am I slotting Vernon’s artistic output in periods and, in particular during the Late Period, in waves?  The answer: context.  I believe it is important to put Vernon’s work in context, particularly the work presented in this series of DVDs.  Just think of your magical confreres, friends or family who are in the same age bracket as Vernon was when he performed on these discs. In this context, it is more than impressive; it is astounding.

Initially, I was going to provide commentary on the material you are about to screen. But then I thought, “Why spoil it?” Few will have seen the non-Revelations footage.  How often can you attend a Vernon lecture and see it unfold in real time, that is, without knowing where he is going or what he will say?  So, please resist using the menu to jump to your favorite trick or area of interest.  Watch each disc from start to finish and imagine that you are there, in the audience, seeing and hearing him for the first time.

Start with Vernon’s lecture at the Washington Press Club in August 1973, courtesy of Arthur Emerson.  (Still images of Arthur Emerson and Vernon were inserted for the first minute or so because the initial quality of the video was suspect.  Your patience, however, will be rewarded.)  Vernon is 79 years old at the time.  That’s right, 79! It is Late Vernon, Second Wave.

Next, screen the October 9, 1976, lecture at The Magic Castle.  Here Vernon is reprising the content of the $1,000 Lecture Tour. He is now 82.  Again, it is Late Vernon, Second Wave.

Take a break and turn to the notes provided by Dr. Gene Matsuura.  Dr. Matsuura was a confidant of many of the most esteemed sleight-of-hand magicians of the 20th century.  He is a real student of magic and, in particular, the magic of Vernon.  He is also renowned for the quality of his observations and notes.  We thank Dr. Matsuura for agreeing to release his personal notes on Vernon’s $1,000 Lecture Tour appearance in Sacramento.  His observations are astute, and the nuance he flags worth studying.

Next up: the April 1977 presentations filmed at The Magic Castle.  Shot by and because of Bill Larsen, they represent yet another extraordinary gift of the Larsen family to the magic community.  In fact, it is hard to imagine what magic would be like today without the Larsens – Genii magazine, The Magic Castle, the Academy of the Magical Arts, and now this. The family, in its fourth generation in magic, continues to contribute to the growth of magic and the preservation of magic history. Vernon, by the way, would soon turn 84!  It is the tail end of the Second Wave of the Late Period.

Only then, it is time to revisit the monumental series that is Revelations.  Recorded in 1982, when Vernon was 88, it is the Late Period, Third Wave. Here, Vernon provides more coaching and commentary than actual performance.  Michael Ammar, Gary Ouellet and Steve Freeman are there to assist, performing and demonstrating magic, and to spark the conversation.  We see how things are meant to be done, and how not.  The breadth of material is staggering.  Fortunately, this commemorative package of discs and other material includes a reproduction of a booklet that provides a detailed description of each section so that viewers can zero in on their particular area of interest.

And yes, it can be overwhelming, so much information.

If I can offer one final word of advice, it is to heed what Vernon said to a young Albert Goshman:  take one trick and learn to do it better than anybody else.  Goshman did exactly that, and built his initial reputation with “Spellbound.”

With this 30th anniversary celebration of Revelations, you have that same opportunity.

I look forward to seeing your magic.

David Ben

The Academy of Magical Arts has graciously opened their members-only video vault and allowed L&L to publish one of their rare private videos. This is your chance to watch vintage lectures by Dai Vernon taped at the world-famous Magic Castle by Bill “The Prez” Larsen who had the foresight to preserve Vernon’s genius for posterity. These videos are also valuable for their historic importance as they are among the first lectures ever videotaped at the Magic Castle.

Dai Vernon Lecture DVDLecture DVD 1
April 1, 1977 lecture:

Wand Spin Vanish
Retention of Vision Coin Vanish
Card Handling
Pull-Through Shuffle
“Dad” Stevens Shuffle
Erdnase Top Palm
Hofzinser Palm Control
Top Changes
Top Palm
Elmsley Count/Twisting the Aces
Larry Jennings’ Ambitious Classic
Hamman’s Pinochle Trick
Deal Controls/Stop Trick
Color Changes (Leipzig, Malini, Tenkai)
Spectator Cueing
Push-Through and Block Shuffle
Henry Christ’s Off the Table Shuffle
Diagonal Palm Shift and Card Transfer
Action Palm
Cover for Erdnase Shift
Double Lift Get Ready
The Trick That Fooled Marlo
Double Lift-Handling and Application
The Trick Without a Name
Coin Under Glass
Three-Card Monte
Cards Up The Sleeve
General Advice
Card Switches
Vernon’s Mental Card Miracle

Dai Vernon Lecture DVDLecture DVD 2
April 15, 1977 Lecture:
Five Coins and a Glass
Leipzig’s Slow Motion Coin Vanish
The Tale of the Treasury-Worm
The Daivergent Silk
The Peripatetic Walnuts
Balls in the Net
The Cups and Balls
The Linking Rings
Cut and Restored Rope
Knot in Rope Bar Stunt
Joe Berg Knot
Upsetting a Square Knot
Ball Handling/Wand Spin Vanish
Also featured are Vernon’s anecdotes including how he first came to the Magic Castle, early Castle memories, and his infamous X-rated Japan story.

October 9, 1976 Lecture:
Introduction by Bill “The Prez” Larsen
Vernon’s Introductory Remarks
The Cups and Balls
The Peripatetic Walnuts
Five Coins and a Glass
Retention of Vision Coin Vanish
Han Ping Chien
Wand Spin Vanish
The Daivergent Silk

Vernon Lecture August 1973Lecture DVD 3
In August of 1973, Dai Vernon lectured for a large and extremely enthusiastic audience at the Press Club in Washington D.C. and host Arthur Emerson was prescient enough to have a video camera on hand for the occasion.

Contents include:

The Cups and Balls
Coins Through The Table
Retention of Vision Coin Vanish
Five Coins and a Glass
The Linking Rings
The Cylinder and Coins
Matching the Cards
Larry Jennings’ Ambitious Classic
Color Change (Tenkai)
Top Changes
Cards Up The Sleeve Advice

On April 9, 1963, a very select group assembled at the newly-formed Magic Castle to hear Dai Vernon lecture. This was a historic moment because it was on the strength of this presentation that Vernon was asked to become the Castle’s resident magician – and now, through the magic of audio recording, you can be there, too, almost 50 years later. Volumes 3-4 record another lecture on December 6, 1964. Vernon was performing regularly at the time; his methods were brilliant and his timing perfect.

CD 1 (1 hour)
1.     Introduction
2.     Five Coins and a Glass
3.     Cups and Balls
4.     The Daivergent Sillk
5.     John Ramsey Cylinder and Coins

CD 2 (1 hour)
1.     McDonald’s Hundred Dollar Ace Trick
2.     Penetration of Thought
3.     Top Change
4.     Bottom Change
5.     Ambitious Card
6.     Tips
7.     Conus Aces
8.     Erdnase Bottom Palm
9.     Hofzinser Bottom Palm
10.     Mental Card Miracle
11.     The Travelers
12.     Palming

CD 3 (1 hour)
1.     Introduction
2.     General Comments
3.     Jerry Andrus and Lies
4.     Conversational Approach
5.     Double Lift
6.    The Pass
7.    Getting a Card to the Top
8.    A Trick with a Double-Faced Card
9.    Aces Up or Down
10.    Color Changing Deck

CD 4 (1 hour)
1.     Coin and Glass
2.    IOU
3.    Brain Weave by Alex Elmsley
4.    Four Pair Solitaire by Henry Christ
5.    Spelling Trick (using a cull)
6.    Thought of Card Trick
7.    Silk from Bill Trick


In this booklet, you’ll find comprehensive notes by Dr. Gene Matsuura, a lifelong student of sleight-of-hand magic – particularly Dai Vernon – who was in attendance at what was billed as Dai Vernon’s farewell lecture in Sacramento, California in March of 1976.

Matsuura’s keen observations of the material that Vernon presented at that lecture provides invaluable insights into many of the routines performed on the lecture DVDs in this set. Covered are the Cups and Balls, Five Coins and a Glass, The Tale of the Treasury-Worm, The Daivergent Silk, The Peripatetic Walnuts, Twisting the Aces, the Linking Rings, many, many effects and ideas from Erdnase, and much, much more.

Coupled with a scholarly introduction by David Ben, Dr. Matsuura’s notes are a snapshot of a historic occasion – Dai Vernon presenting his life’s work one final time.



This booklet is an exact reproduction of the Videonics catalog that was issued in June of 1983 which featured the Revelations series. We’ve included this to provide Revelations viewers with the historical context of the series in addition to other valuable insights.

You’ll find an introduction by Michael Ammar, one of the co-hosts of the series, where he describes the filming of Revelations in addition to offering some interesting perspectives on how the project was developed and realized. In addition, Sid Lorraine contributed comprehensive reviews on each of the 18 volumes, providing viewers with a “blow by blow” description of the vast and rich material covered in Revelations.

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Contents of the 17 original Revelations volumes re-mastered on 8 DVDs:

Volume 1
Gary Ouellet Intro
The Story Behind the Stars of Magic Series
Vernon on Think-of-a-Card, Dunninger,
Brainwave Deck
Vernon on Effects
Triumph-the Vernon Triumph Shuffle
and the Proper Presentation
Story of the Vernon False Shuffle
Practice & Improve Your Magic
Keeping Notes on Your Magic
Cutting the Aces-
Another Vernon Card Classic
Vernon on Passes, False Cuts
Irv Weiner’s Opening to Cutting the Aces
The Story is the Entertaining Part of the Trick
Story of the Ambitious Card
Vernon Performs the Ambitious Card
Vernon Explains an Ambitious Card Move
Volume 2
Gary Ouellet Intro
The Vernon Double Lift
The Fingerprint Card Trick
Vernon Double Lift Replacement
On the Strike Double Lift
Vernon’s First Intro to the Pass
Story of the Purse Palm
Vernon Demonstrates the Purse Palm &
Spellbound Move
Vernon on Coin Vanishes
The Ring and the Wand
Slow Motion Aces Performance
(Steve Freeman)
Story Behind Slow-Motion Aces
The Slow Motion Card Vanish
Story of the Last Card (Tent Vanish)
Freeman Demonstrates Last Card Vanish
Vernon Explains Slow Motion Aces
Lay Down & Routine
The Force with No Name
Slow Motion Aces for Magicians
Volume 3

Gary Ouellet Intro
The Travellers (Michael Ammar performance)
Explanation of the Travellers
Vernon on Malini’s Method of Marking the Cards
Proper Way to Turn the Top Card Over
Why Vernon has the Cards Signed
The Kangaroo Coins (Gary Ouellet performance)
Kangaroo Coins Explanation
Vernon Talks About Lapping
The Balls in the Net (Steve Freeman performance)
Vernon’s Story about The Balls in The Net
Vernon Explains the Moves for The Balls in The Net
Han Ping Chein with Ball
Vernon Explains What Makes a Good Trick
Jumping Jacks
The Tenkai Palm Switch
Vernon Explains How He Got the Name “Professor”
Volume 4
Gary Ouellet Intro
The Tenkai Switch – The Pivot Move
Story Behind the Symphony of the Rings
Vernon Tells a Silhouette Story
Vernon Performs the Symphony of the Rings
Explanation of Ring Routine – Counting the Rings
First Link
Spinning the Ring
Unlinking the Ring
Crash Link
Chain of Three
Linking Three & Unlinking Three
The Continuous Linking
The Falling Ring
The Interlocked Rings
The Figures
The Long Chain
Unlinking a Solid Ring
Unlinking All the Rings
The Symphony of the Rings –
Vernon Performs for Live Audience
The Coins and Champagne Glass – A Vernon Classic
The Secret to a Good Coin Vanish
More Coins & Champagne Glass Explanation
Volume 5
Gary Ouellett Intro
Vernon Talks About Fred Kaps
Vernon Explains Coins & Silk Routine
Verno Explains Coin Transfer
Ammar Teaches Chanin Classic
Palm Coin Productions
Ammar Introduces the Cups & Balls
Vernon Tells How He Got His Cups
Vernon Demonstrates the Opening to the Cups & Balls
Ammar Demonstrates Jay Marshall’s Bit with Cups
Explanation of Depth Illusion
Vernon’s Story About the Cups &
Balls at the Magic Castle
Vernon and Ammar Walk Through Cups & Balls Routine
Vernon’s Advice On What To Do After Palming Something
Explanation of Phase Two & Three
Loading Sequence
Large Ball & Wand Vanish
Wand Spin
Vernon Explains Ball Under Cup Vanish
Vernon Explains Coins & Purse Swindle
Malini’s Version
Vernon’s Purse Palm Vanish
Leipzig’s Coin on Knee
Volume 6
Gary Ouellett Intro
Color Change Section Intro (Freeman)
History of Color Change
Erdnase’s First Method with the Vernon Improvement
The Erdnase Pivot Color Change
The Malini Handling
Picking Off the Pip
Leipzig’s Handling
Leipzig’s Side Slip and VernonÕs Variation
Handling the Sucker Gag
Steve Freeman’s Tips on the Color Change
” Softy” Color Change
Vernon Passes on Good Advice
The No Palm Color Change
The Time Vernon Cheated the Cheats
The Greek Crimp
The Gambler’s Peek
The Back Crimp
The Suit Peek
The Corner Crimp/Cutting to a Crimp
Story About Larry Grey
The Snap Crimp Story
The Snap Crimp
Mexican Joe Crimp
Best Way to Reverse a Card
The Breather Crimp
Volume 7

Gary Ouellett Intro
An Unpublished Linking Ring Move
The Vernon No Key Linking
The Five-Card Mental Force
Some Thoughts on the Stop Trick
Taking Advantage of Good Breaks
The Trick That Cannot Be Explained
The Cutting Trick
How to Practice the Trick That Cannot
Be Explained
Vernon Talks About Card Palming
The Hofzinser Bottom Palm
The Diagonal Palm Shift and the
Vernon Improvement
The Hofzinser Bottom Palm Transfer
Volume 8
Gary Ouellett Intro
The Diagonal Palm Shift-
a detailed description
The Hand Washing Move
The Gambling Palm
The Vernon Gambling Palm Transfer
Topping the Deck
The Erdnase Top Palm
Several Methods of Replacing the
Palmed Card onto the Deck
Skinning the Hand, Version 1
Vernon Color Change
The Tenkai Palm Color Change
Skinning the Hand Version #2
The French Pass
Two Technical Descriptions of
Bottom Palms
Covering the Side Slip
Dramatizing Revelations
The Loewy Palm
Some Moves for Cards Up the Sleeve
The Vernon Card Switches
A New Top Palm
The Card to Jacket Pocket
The Palm Change
Story of the Mysterious Kid
Vernon Talks About Shiners
VOL. 9 & 10 ON ONE DVD
Volume 9

Gary Ouellet Intro
The Berg Move
Explanation of Berg Move
Story of the Trick That Fooled Houdini
Explanation of the Trick
That Fooled Houdini
Vernon Tells Horwitz Story
Vernon Explains the Boat Trick
Vernon Performs Three Card Monte
for Live Audience
Explanation of Three Card Monte
Preparing the Cards
Bent Corner
Tips on the Hype Move
Sucker Ploy
Explanation of Hype Move
The Torn Card
The Broad Worker’s Story
The Double Flash
Removing the Bent Corner
Bobby Fischer Story
Volume 10
Gary Ouellet Intro
The Vernon Cone and Ball Routine
Basic Move for Cone & Ball
The Ball and Silk
Hand to Hand Ball Transfer
Vernon on the Dye Tube /
Color Changing Silks
Loading the Silk
Palming the Tube
Start of Routine
Steal of the Tube
Routine Taught from Behind
The Chopstick Double Lift
Valuable Tip from Erdnase
(Double Lift)
The Overhand Shuffle Technique
The Pinky Count
The Greek Break
Bottom to Top Transfer
Vernon’s Simple Double Peek Control
Triple and Multiple Peek Handling
The Fan Force

VOL. 11 & 12 ON ONE DVD
Volume 11

Gary Ouellet Intro
The International Gambler’s Code
The Zanzig Code
The Spread
The Miami Brothers Ploy
The Vernon Card Switch
The Gambler’s Hole Card Switch
The Snatch
The Verbal Code (Vernon)
Teaching Method for Verbal Code
(Memorized Cards)
How to Memorize the Cards
(Vernon Method)
Vernon Tells the Story of Benny
Vernon Tells the Names of Each Card
in his Code
Vernon Short Card
Corner Short
Freeman Demonstrates Short Card Control

Volume 12
Gary Ouellet intro
Freeman Quotes Erdnase
The Erdnase Bottom Deal
The Elliott Bottom Deal
The Artanis Bottom Deal
Gambling vs. Magic
The Second Deal – The Erdnase Methods
The Johnny Thompson Method
Vernon’s Trick for Second Deal
Vernon Gives Tips on Second Deal
The Vernon New Theory Second Deal
The Big Lie about the Strike Second
The Elliott Million Dollar Secret
Mexican Joe’s Shift
The Side Shift
Covering the One-Handed Shift
The S.W.E. Shift
The Kennedy Center Deal (The Real Work)
Bad Habits Center Deal
VOL. 13,14,15 ON ONE DVD
Volume 13
Gary Ouellet Intro
The Drunken Mitt
How to Tell Backs from Fronts
by Feel Alone
Tips on the Overhand Shuffle
The Erdnase Full-Deck Control
The Vernon Full-Deck Control
The Charlier False Shuffle
The Push Through Shuffle
The Strip Out Shuffle
Vernon Gives Tips on the
Push-Through Shuffle
The Kid Royal Shuffle
The Up the Ladder False Cut
Up the Ladder used in Triumph
Volume 14
Vernon – Three Card Monte
Ammar – Beanie Wienie, Cards to Pocket
Ouellet – Three Shell Game
Freeman – Time Machine, Cutting the Aces,
Slow Motion Ace Assembly
Ammar – The $2 Bill Tear, The Yeast Card,
Card on Ceiling
Ouellet – Kiss Trick, Ring on Rope
Ammar – Coins & Silk
Ouellet – Silver Passage
Ammar – Roll-Over Aces
Ouellet – The Two Goblets
Vernon – Symphony of the Rings
Volume 15
Gary Ouellet Intro
Why Vernon Changed his Name
How he Got the Name “Professor”
Interest in Magic Since a Young Boy
Enjoyed Watching Gamblers
Talks About Erdnase
Vernon’s Favorite Book: Erdnase
School Magic Show
No Use of the Word Damn or Egg Bag
Great Weakness of Magician
Meeting Cliff Green
Producing a Card in the Shower
First Time Seeing Max Malini
Malini Egg Bag – Russia Story
Malini at the GM party
Malini Card Stab
Antique Table Story
Advice from Malini
Malini’s Best Tricks Were Never Performed
Malini’s Vanishing Tobacco
Malini’s Opener
Malini at Buckingham Palace
VOL. 16 & 17 ON ONE DVD
Volume 16
Gary Ouellet Intro
Cutting Silhouettes
The Harlequin Act
How Vernon Met Frances Rockefeller King
Magician Spies on Vernon
J. K. L. M.
Dr. Daley’s Notebook
The Book, “Our Magic”
The Frogman
Cardini’s Talking Act
Cardini’s Tails
Al Baker
The History of Silhouettes
Colorado Springs
World’s Fair
Vernon Cuts a Silhouette
Twenty Dollar Gold Piece
Volume 17
Gary Ouellet Intro
King of Koins
The Gimmick
Emil Jarrow
Jarrow Plays London
Closing of his Act
Partner in his Act
Warren Keane
Malini Block of Ice
Fred Keating Canary Story
Paul Rosini
Herbert Brooks
The Manner In Which Tricks are Presented
Larry Grey Follows Hobos
High School Dance
Lance Burton at the Body Shop
Garrick Spencer / Academy of Magic
Allen Kennedy Center Deal
Teaching John Scarne the Center Deal
Vernon Takes Ted to See Allen Kennedy
Mrs. Vernon Meets Mexican Joe
The Greek Gambler
The Hold-Up Story
Jack Benny Joke
Dr. Ross
Meeting Dan Cummings at Restaurant
Takes the Touch of a Billiard Player
Frank Tobey / Vernon Sees Faro Shuffle
for the First Time
One Arm MacDonald – The Diamond Ring
$100 Ace Trick
Davis the Miracle Man