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Saturday, 5 March 2016


The Faust legend originated from Johann Faust (c1480-1540) of Germany, a wandering astrologist, scholar and magician who slighted Jesus' miracles and claimed that he could do the same.

The catching a bullet in the teeth trick was invented by Frenchman Coulew of Lorraine. He was beaten to death on stage in 1613 with his own musket by an irate assistant.

An eighteenth-century German named Matthew Birchinger, known as "the little man of Nuremberg," was the most famous stage magician of his day. He performed tricks with the cup and balls that have never been explained. Yet Birchinger had no hands, legs, or thighs, and was less than 29 inches tall.

John Henry Anderson (1814-74) was a Scottish conjurer, who was known as the Great Wizard of the North, a title he claimed had been bequeathed to him by Sir Walter Scott, the original Wizard of the North. He is credited with moving the art of magic from street performances into theaters and presenting magic performances to entertain and delight the audience.

The model for the look of a 'typical' magician—a man with wavy hair, a top hat, a goatee, and a tailcoat—was  the French magician Alexander Herrmann (February 10, 1844 – December 17, 1896), also known as Herrmann the Great.

The magician and escapologist John Nevil Maskelyne invented the coin-operated lock for public lavatories in 1892.

Harry "Houdini" Weiss first became interested in magic when at 15 he discovered the autobiography of the greatest magician of the nineteenth century, Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin. Weiss was fascinated by the book and stayed up all night reading the tome. After becoming a professional magician he began calling himself "Harry Houdini", after the French master of illusion.

Prince Charles joined the Magic Circle in 1975 after performing the famous Cups & Balls trick for members.

The U.S. illusionist David Blaine, dubbed the hip-hop Houdini, signed a million-dollar TV contract with ABC in the U.S. after wowing executives by levitating in the boardroom.

Jason Alexander (Seinfeld's George Costanza) is a practicing magician, and only switched to acting as a career when he realized that he was unlikely to succeed as a magician.

Teller started the practice of being silent during performances to avoid being heckled at frats while in college.

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