PHIL THOMAS yogi magic mart

 Phillip Theodore Thomas  
 (March 12th 1912- July 2nd 1998) 

First president of the Magic Dealers Association (MDA)
Member of I.B.M Ring 179 in Baltimore #4855
Member of Kellar-Thurston Assembly 6
Order of Merlin Excalibur (50 yrs.)
S.A.M member # 2214 (53 yrs.)

Mr. Thomas gave performances in the basement of his home with neighborhood friend Milbourne Christopher, who later became a world-famed magician. They teamed up as "Mil & Phil" and performed in churches and at Carlin's (amusement) Park.

 Later, they added Hen Fetsch and billed themselves as "The Unholy Trio" or "The Little Demons."


 In the audience was a young Don Driver... and the rest you can say is history...

 PHIL THOMAS was a magic disciple of ERNEST B. MARX and a member of his
 Phil on the set of his Sunday morning TV show 'MAGIC MAN'
on  channel 11 WBAL in Baltimore.

 In grade school, he attended a performance by the legendary magician Howard Thurston at Ford's Theater and went backstage after the show. 
"With the audacity of the young, I went backstage after a performance and knocked on the magician's dressing room door. He let me in. When he realized the sincerity of my interest, he talked to me for some time with his hand on my shoulder. When I left, he gave me a pat on the back. If I had the slightest doubt earlier, that resolved it. Thereafter, I never wanted to be anything but a magician." 
Whenever he appeared at Ford's, Mr. Thurston would hire him to do odd jobs and once presented him with an autographed picture signed: "Always keep them doubting, Thomas."
1956: PHIL THOMAS with his wife KAY, HEN FETSCH and KARRELL FOX behind him. 
Phil and Kay met at a 'Camp Fire Girls' expo when he called her from the audience to assist in a trick.

Phil at the first YOGI MAGIC MART on 215 N. CHARLES ST.


"This guy would come in the shop like once a month...he bought about 2 dozen flash pads. That's all. I asked Phil about him and Phil said he was a book maker and would write his numbers on the pads...if the cops would show up he could just drop his cigar on the pad and get rid of the evidence. I thought that was so cool" - Don Driver

The legendary Don Driver worked for many years with Phil Thomas at the 310 location.
Learn more about Don Driver right here...

KAY & PHIL 1969 at YOGI MAGIC MART'S  second location

"I also remember when I was a kid going to Phil Thomas's shop, and then one day after we had been doing 'the act' and appeared in England and got on the cover of 'Abra' that he said... "Well, my boy, you have hit the big time." Ah the memories" - Dick Kohlhafer



1980: DAVE ROEMER, ANN and PHIL THOMAS at YOGI MART MART on 217 N. Charles St.

"WOW!! Awesome....Dave, Ann & Phil!! When I use to come into the shop! many times, I had to bring my 4 year old Son, Damien! Ann would take him into the office, open her desk drawer, which had a "Ton" of change! She would say, "Young-un", reach in & grab a handful! He would! Then Ann would take him down stairs to a shop which sold candy & soda! She would get him anything he wanted!! GREAT FRIENDS!!!" - Kevin D. Kirtley
 A message from PHIL, ANN & DAVID ROEMER concerning the " new" YOGI MAGIC MART  location at 217. NORTH CHARLES STREET. Notice the original letterhead with the  old 310  address scratched out.

 1977 THOMAS amid the burnt ruins of Yogi Magic Mart at 310 Charles Street ; holding the floating ball given to him by Howard Thurston. 
"Out of this disaster has come a realization,
I never knew I had so many friends" - Phil, the Magician
Phil Thomas as I remember him in the early eighties at his shop, Yogi Magic Mart
at 217 N. Charles St. What a wonderful person and magician.


"At 217 N. Charles St. My Mentor, Phil Thomas, sold his business to Paul Wolman, of P.W.Feats. John Ekin & Dave Rohmer, who both worked in the shop, left, after Phil sold it. Phil, recommended a very little known Magician, but, who had small business management skills, Kevin D. Kirtley. The business was moved to Ellicott City, Md. Three local, but very well chosen magicians, Chris Mosner, James van Liew & Kevin D. Kirtley took over, managing the business. John Ekin returned, for a short time, Chris Mosner, eventually left, Kevin D. Kirtley, resigned! Then, James Van Liew, the last connection, to the Yogi Legacy..... resigned! The Yogi Magic Mart/Main Street Magic, in Ellicott City.....burned to the ground! The Legendary Magic Shop..... was gone!!"  - Kevin D. Kirtley


 Some of the wonderful items I purchased from Phil Thomas.
Mr. Thomas always kindly veered young magicians away from
purchasing effects flattered in the catalogs that he deemed substandard,
 even though he stocked them! He truly cared about young people and magic.
 Great pamphlets and books recommended to me personally by Phil Thomas.
Hen Fetsch's Milk Pitcher Magic is on the upper right, along with the now vintage Adam's Milk Pitcher. I will never forget Mr. Thomas showing  me the "eye-of-the-needle" rope trick.
 A RECEIPT in Mr. Thomas's own handwriting...



"Fool them, but fool them pleasantly" 

"Never reveal how a trick is done, or else it will ruin the fun for your friends."


  1. WOW...what a great Website for magic....I love it.

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  3. Great site. I remember the 310 location and worked for a summer at the 217 store - where I joined the Yogi Magic Club. Phil Thomas was always encouraging and inspiring. I ran into him on the street in NY years later and he immediately recognized me. I was lucky to have known him and to have spent time at the Mart.