Our History

The Parent Assembly Number One’s beginnings and goals

They gathered by gaslight in the back of the old Martinka Magic Shop. Their numbers were eight to ten. Alexander Herrmann, Dr. Saram R. Ellison, Nate Leipzig, Dr. Mortimer, Harry Kellar, Frank Ducrot, Carl Hertz and Elmer P. Ransom all were guests on those evenings. They soon began calling themselves the “Saturday Night Club”.  Martinka’s never charged them for the use of their Palace of Magic.

Past S.A.M. President Elmer P. Ransom wrote: “Dr. Ellison was a daily visitor to Martinka’s shop. From time to time during the 15 years of unorganized Saturday nighters, Francis J. Martinka suggested to Ellison that he get some of the regular guests into an organized society formed for the promotion of friendship among magicians and furtherance of the art of magic.” Dr. Ellison took this to heart and with a lot of hard work on May 10th 1902 the Society of American Magicians was born here in New York City. The newly formed group honored him by awarded membership card number 1.


 

Today we are called The Society of American Magicians Parent Assembly Number One and still follow those ideas formed so many years ago.

The Parent Assembly is an organization intended to unite in harmony those associated in magic; not only professionals but amateurs, manufacturers of conjuring apparatus, collectors, historians and all interested in the Art of Magic. Essentially we are a social organization. It’s members will tell you that above all else they prize the fellowship which it has opened to them – friendship and association with magicians great and small, personalities in all walks of life, prominent and humble, brought together on an equal basis by an equal love of our entrancing art. Acting with the highest ethical behavour we hold private the secrets of our art. We swear to do no harm to a fellow magician’s performance as we celebrate the magician’s art.