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From the Cataloger’s Desk: Parlor Pastimes

June 10, 2016

Welcome to my inaugural blog post! As the cataloger of Printed Collections at the Indiana Historical Society, I have the privilege of examining some very unique and interesting items on a daily basis. Every month, I plan to highlight one recently cataloged book, pamphlet or map that stands out from the crowd.

This month, I present the following: Parlor Pastimes: or, The Whole Art of Amusing. Containing all the Latest and Best Conjuring Tricks, Magician’s Feats, and Necromancer’s Illusions of the Past and Present Day, Together with a Large Collection of the Best Riddles, Conundrums, Charades, Enigmas, Rebuses, Transpositions, Anagrams, Puzzles, Paradoxes, Acrostics, and Problems, Ever Put Together.

Is that title long enough for you? This gem, published in 1903, will teach you how to become the life of every party you attend this summer. Learn how to bring colored ribbon from your mouth, swallow a number of needles and yards of thread, make a card jump out of the pack and run on the table, change the color of a bird or flower, or even cut a man’s head off and put it in a platter a yard from his body! If these tricks seem too risky, keep things simple with some clever riddles, conundrums and puzzles. There is something for everyone in this fun book, so I invite you to come visit the library and take a look!

The catalog record for this item can be found here.

Lindsay Borman is the cataloger of Printed Collections at the Indiana Historical Society. Her claim to fame: She can name all of the U.S. presidents ... in order!

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