Salon de Magie

The Story Behind



Stanley Jaks was a magician who became famous in Germany and Switzerland, then became even more famous when he emigrated to the United States. He was a gifted man, filled with the perfect combination of artistic sense, personal worth, physical dexterity, imagination, and a sense of humor.

     His magic interest started with a card and pocket tricks, progressed to stand-up magic in nightclubs and theatres, and then had the upheavals of a world war change his tricks and his style to fit a smaller stage-the top of a dining table. He was one of the rarest of magicians in Europe, a close-up performer. He and Dai Vernon were close in time in this new concept of conjuring, but thousands of miles apart in space.

     It was about 1934 that he was hired full-time to do his tricks right under the noses of hotel dinner guests in San Moritz, and he started his unique style that created two intriguing fields of magic presentation.

     One of his first innovations was to put his props inside a hollow book that was so beautifully bound that it could grace the shelf of any world-class library. He called it his ‘book of mysteries’, and it was filled with mysterious objets d’art that were manipulated in a magical manner.

     When he came to the U.S. in 1946 he brought his famous book with him, and began to fool American diners. With his accent, his stylish charm, and a way of twisting magic effects to get the most wonder out of them, he was immediately being invited and booked in the homes and cabarets of the social set.

     After a few years, Jaks began to see changes in the future of magic theater, so he began changing his presentations. Again, his appeal and skills put him into a higher class of entertainment, one that carried him across the country and internationally. He had retired his book and now concentrated on lectures and demonstrations of mentalism.

     Finally, as happens even to magicians, Stanley Jaks came to the end of his intriguing and gifted life. He passed away in January of 1960, and the physical objects of his magic went in various directions.

Ken Klosterman