MARSHALL, Mich. (WOOD) — Abracadabra! Alakazam! The American Museum of Magic welcomes you to “explore the wonder of it all.”
The museum, at 107 E. Michigan Ave. near S. Jefferson Street in Marshall, opened on April Fools’ Day in 1978, run by retired Detroit-area journalist Bob Lund and his wife Elaine.
“For many years … they ran the museum as their own museum,” museum director Sara Schultz said. “…Upon their deaths, they decided that the museum would go into the hands of a nonprofit.”
In 2006, the American Museum of Magic nonprofit was born.
The museum covers early magic history to modern magicians and features more than 3,000 posters and artifacts.
“We have a book called ‘The Discoverie of Witchcraft.’ We own a first edition that was printed in 1534,” Schultz said. “It’s regarded as the first magic book in print.”
The book explains how some magic tricks are done and shows that people don’t have supernatural powers.
“In 1600, the king of England actually ordered the book banned and any copies to be burned. So it’s also one of the rarest books in magic,” Schultz said.
The museum has an exhibit dedicated to escape artist Harry Houdini that features some of his props, like a crate for underwater crate escapes.
“We also have a … large blown-up milk can that would be filled up with water and Harry Houdini would be handcuffed and he would then go inside the milk can and the milk can would be locked shut. Houdini would escape from that,” Schultz said.
For those wanting to try their hand at some illusions, the museum has a stage called the Magicbox Theater with a few gimmick tricks that guests can attempt.
“Adults and kids are welcome to go up on that stage and try their hand at a few magic tricks,” Schultz said. “…We’ll even show kids how to do a few little magic tricks there like ball and vase and a coin slider and they’ll put on little magic shows for their families.”
In the summer, the museum holds a Saturday Magic Show Series at 1 p.m. The cost is included with admission.
“Live magic, there’s just no substitute for it. It’s not the same as watching it on TV,” Schultz said.
In addition to the museum space, the nonprofit has a library with 10,000 books and archive space.
The museum is open from April to November on Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. It is open by appointment from December through March. Admission is $5 for adults, $3.50 for kids and up kids under the age of 5 are free.
For more information on the American Museum of Magic, visit the museum’s website.