The History Of Magic

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The Art of Magic has a rich and colorful history, and has been found in human cultures for thousands of years. Stage conjurors have become far more popular in the last few hundred years, however, and today we have some truly amazing modern magicians to carry the art forward.  Here are just some of the most famous names in the magic world who have performed some of the magic world’s greatest miracles and illusions.

 

 
Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, the father of modern magic.

Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, the father of modern magic.

Robert-Houdin performing a convincing "second sight" act with his young son.

Robert-Houdin performing a convincing "second sight" act with his young son.

The French magician was born on December 7, 1805, and is considered the founder of what we know as modern magic today. He was widely revered for years and is seen as one of the most famous and key performers, having changed the entire way that people look at magic forever.

 

 
Ehrlich Weiss was born on March 24th, 1874 and became world famous as Harry Houdini.

Ehrlich Weiss was born on March 24th, 1874 and became world famous as Harry Houdini.

The most popular name of all time in the history of magic, he was famous for amazing escapes from truly crazy stunts, as well as unbelievable miracles that seemed impossibly to pull off, like making an elephant vanish! He could appear and disappear as and when he wanted, and was a true escape master. He inspired just about every magician in the modern world.

Houdini was famous for being able to escape from anything!

Houdini was famous for being able to escape from anything!

 

 
 

 
David Devant levitating a woman.

David Devant levitating a woman.

According to one magic historian : "David Devant, most British magicians agree, was the master performer of his time". Devant was a fixture in British entertainment and it was he who was selected to represent "the world of wizardry" at King George V's command performance at the Palace Theatre in London on 1 July 1912. Famous for his “magic kettle” that could pour lots of different drinks one after another, he was the first president of the Magic Circle which is like a council for magicians. 

Magician David Devant (1868-1941) pulling a rabbit out of a hat and performing other magic effects (using trick photography.)

 

 
Cardini and Swan

Cardini and Swan

He was born in 1895, Richard Pitchford, in a coal-mining town in Mumbles, Wales, (same village as Katherine Zeta Jones) . He joined the British Army during WW1 where he passed the time in the trenches by practicing his card manipulations. After being injured in battle was placed in a hospital were he continued to hone his magic skills.

Cardini, Master Magician, whose career span almost half a century, was the most imitated magician the world has ever known but his skill and talent could never be duplicated making him one of the world greatest magicians.

 

 

Born in India, Sorcar was once thought of as one of the world’s very best magicians, and he was known worldwide for his amazing and unique style of magic. He carried out many ambitious and sometimes quite scary acts. He was one of the most popular magicians in the Eastern world.

 

 

Fred Kaps was a Dutch magician, famous for being the only magician to become FISM Grand Prix world champion three times. He was the creator of numerous original effects including his version of the color-changing silks and the delightful floating cork.

A charming character and impressive sleight of hand master on stage, he was also a skilled close up magician.

 

 

 
 

 



 
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The newest king of the modern magicians, many people believe that Blaine is not “of this world” as he seems to be able to carry out Houdiniesque tricks and skills. He’s both set and broken world records to do with magic and escapology, and has a reputation for being able to carry out truly amazing feats of endurance and physical challenges that seem impossible. The master of the current magic age, he’s one of the biggest names in the business – and for good reason!

David Blaine set a world record for holding his breath underwater.

David Blaine set a world record for holding his breath underwater.

As you can see, across the last few hundred years we have been blessed with true magical talents. There have been many more, and this is just the start of your magic education, as there are many more specialists and experts out there who can really change your views on the world and magic in general!

Maybe one day your name will be added to the list of the Greatest Magicians in History!