Ken Allen was an American performer, magic dealer and inventor of Jumping Gems, Chinatown Quarter effects as well as the Soo-Zee fanning powder application tool.
Spending his childhood in the Great Depression, Allen learned to scramble to make a living. He found work as a carnival pitchman as well as a trick and acrobatic dancer as well as a comedy high diver. A chance encounter with comedy magician Al Minder showed Allen that there was a market for comedy magicians, and he decided to become one.
Though he worked professionally as a magician, mostly in clubs, Allen's greatest success came as a magic dealer. In the 1940's, he worked as a demonstrator in Abbott's New York City magic shop. In 1954, he opened his own Ken Allen Products company to manufacture and sell his own creations, as well as a few by other magicians like Tom Sellers.
He sold the company to Bob Follmer in 1965, and quietly retired from the magic business.
Occasionally, Allen was the subject of several articles in magic magazines, but he stayed out of the limeight for the most part. He died in 2009 at the age of 81.
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