The word magic is derived from the Persian word “magus” which designated a priestly class.
Magic has many names!
It is also called conjuring, hocus pocus, sorcery and wizardry, to name some of the most common.
The most dangerous trick in magic is the Bullet Catch. This effect, in which a marked bullet is fired at the performer who catches it between his teeth, has killed twelve magicians and wounded many more.
American Magician, Illusionist and Endurance artist David Blaine has broken several world records and astonished millions of people. He has been encased in ice for 63hours 42minutes and 15seconds, sealed in a transparant case for 44 days, hung upside down for 60 hours and held his breathe for 17minutes 4 1/2 seconds to name a few.
Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926.
This brilliant magician and escape artist was the first man to fly an airplane in Australia -March 16, 1919.
The great film director Orson Wells had a lifelong interest in magic. During World War II he had his own magic show that he presented for members of the U.S. armed forces. His assistants at times included such stars as Rita Hayworth and Marlene Dietrich.
Matthew Buchinger, one of the premier Cups and Balls performers of the 18th century, was born without arms or legs and was 29 inches tall.
Charles Dickens was an enthusiastic amateur magician.
In August 1849, in one of his most ambitious performances he introduced himself as “The Unparalleled Necromancer Rhia Rhama Rhoos, educated cabalistic ally in the orange groves of Salamanca and the ocean caves of Alum Bay.”
David Copperfield is the first living magician to have a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. The only other magician so honoured is Harry Houdini, who received a star after his death.
The Levitation Illusion was first performed in Greek dramas as early as 431 B.C.
The ancient Greeks were great admirers of magic, erecting statues of their favourite magicians. Homer even mentions conjurors in his epic poem, The lliad.
The most famous Chinese magician of all time, Chung Ling Soo, was really an American named William E. Robinson. He was mortally wounded in 1918 doing the Bullet Catch trick on the stage of the Wood Green Empire Theatre in London and died the next day. Only then did the world discover that he was not Chinese.
During World War II, the magician Jasper Maskelyne hid the Suez Canal and Alexandria Harbor from the Germans and helped the Allied Forces win the war in Africa. In the book Top Secret, Maskelyne tells of his war experiences and of the time when he performed at the Empire Theater in Cairo, Egypt as “The Royal Command Magician.” Few people actually realized that the performance was a front for the British intelligence service.
Magicians were very much involved in the birth of the movie industry. Not only were many magicians exhibitors of films, but many were involved as performers and producers. Harry Houdini made several silent films and was the creator of many special effects; magician George Melies bought the Robert-Houdin Theatre and exhibited the first motion picture seen in Paris.
The author of the 14 most recent James Bond thrillers is a magician. John Gardner, retained by the estate of Ian Fleming, the creator of the Bond character, was a professional magician before he became an author.
David Copperfield is the highest paid magician being named on fortune 500’s list.
The worlds fastest magician is Eldon D. Wigton (Dr. Eldoonie).
He performed 255 tricks in 2 minutes on April, 21 1991
Eliaser Bamberg, the 18th-century Dutch magician, was known as “The Crippled Devil.” He had lost one of his legs in an explosion and wore a wooden leg. The story goes that Eliase) had hollowed out his wooden leg and used it as a secret hiding place for his magic props.
The worlds strongest magician is Ken Simmons,
He can bench press over 500lbs
Famous Celebrities who are (were) also Magicians:
Johnny Carson, Don Johnson, Woody Allen, Dick Cavett, Dick Van Dyke, Milton Berle, Cary Grant, Bill Bixby, Jimmy Stewart, Steve Martin, Muhammad Ali, Bob Barker, George Bush, Jerry Lewis, Charles Dickens
Ever wondered where the expression “not playing with a full deck of cards” came from?
In 1707 in England, Queen Anne enforced a tax on playing cards that eventually affected both manufacturers and the public(this practice continued in the UK until 1960). In 1828 manufactureers places a tax stampon the Ace of Spades instead of the box. These stamps were taken serioulsy by the English government. One Richard Handy was executed for forging such stampled Ace. To avoid paying the inflated price some English citizens began to purchase checks without any Ace of Spades. Hence they were “playing without a full deck”!