The first piece, “Vernon the Mesmerist”, is by Peter Lamont, author of The Rise and Fall of the Indian Rope Trick and The First Psychic, and features the escapades of W.J. Vernon, a proponent of phrenology and mesmerism.
The next article features a further installment in Mitsunobu Matsuyama’s series “An Investigation into Magic in Japan after the Opening of the Country”. This time he looks at some of the first magicians to adopt western magic effects and some of the early foreign magicians to introduce western magic into Japan.
Finally we end with a look at the history of nail writing and pencil reading in “Lessons Written with a Small Gimmick” by Loren Pankratz. In addition to providing some of the earliest references to date for these secret subterfuges, there is also some intriguing information on two fascinating characters, William Eglinton and S.J. Davey, whose methods were considered superior to the prominent Henry Slade and still leave even present day magicians nonplussed.