The Shadow Bazaar



Pinkerton pinkerton

Allan PinkertonOne of the many ways the Pinkertons revolutionized law enforcement was with their so-called "Rogues' Gallery," a collection of mug shots and case histories that the agency used to research and keep track of wanted men. Along with noting suspects' distinguishing marks and scars, agents also collected newspaper clippings and generated rap sheets detailing their previous arrests, known associates and areas of expertise. A more sophisticated criminal library wouldn't be assembled until the early 20th century and the birth of the FBI.

Bizarre Magic is unfairly titled. Although many concepts in Bizarre Magic do take a "bizarre" or macabre turn, it is really story telling magic. No "for my next trick" in a bizarre magic show.

There are hundreds of original effects for the modern bizarrist which range from simple card tricks to challenging skills in mentalism. The issue many performers face though are overarching themes. If your book test is based on an American mental asylum, it may make segues into your next illusion challenging for your show that takes place in London. I wanted to create an effect that can be used most anywhere with any theme. Hence, the Pinkerton Cards.

The Pinkerton Cards are 32 cards of 16 men and 16 women (38 with the Pinkerton Expansion Pack). Eight of the men and eight of the women are dead and eight each are alive according to the words DECEASED or SURVIVED on the backs. The only thing connecting the cards are the suggestion they are evidence photos used by the Pinkerton Detective Agency. The clothing of the subjects was carefully selected so that would look appropriate in timelines anywhere from 1860 to 1912. Only a fashion historian would be able to tell and only then if under close inspection!

With the Pinkerton Cards, you can create any story or any plot for your presentation! You can make them suspects, victims or anything you want if they are dead or alive. There is a space at the bottom of the front of the cards for adding names, location or other custom details if you want a more specific show. This was something I have been working on for my Magic & Murder Mystery shows ( for quite some time now.

Custom orders are available if you want me to add a theme to the cards.

  • No slights!
  • Easily reset!
  • Powerful results!

So, these are my new Pinkerton Cards made on professional playing card stock and at Tarot Card size (2.75"x4.75" or 70mm×120mm)! They are easy to handle and transport and easily aged further (any playing card aging technique will work). However, aging is done in print and look great as is.

$60 (+S&H) and other options available. International shipping costs will apply.

$65 In stock
38 cards! Does not include badge or bowler High quality card stock Includes the HH Holmes expansion pack! So, this has come up. Evidently, they did laminate ID cards after stapling the photo on. I theorize that it was to hold the photo in place during the lamination process of that time period. Also, in photos I referenced, there was very little evidence of rust on the staples. Perhaps the laminating helped with this.