FAMOUS MAGICIANS BORN IN FEBRUARY
Vintage footage of well-known magicians who happened to be born in February...
ED MASSEY (1889-1984)
Magician, author and inventor of a number of magic effects, including Squeezaway Block, Silk Cabby, Finger Guillotine, Rod Thru Body and Chinese Flame Clock.
Here David Dellman performs Massey's RIBBON FANTASTIQUE effect.
ALEXANDER HERRMANN (1844-1896)
One of the most famous magicians in American magic history, known as "Herrmann the Great"
Here is a brief biography of this legendary magician, posted by Art of Impossible on YouTube.
J.B. Bobo (1910-1996)
American magician and author of the definitive book on coin magic, Modern Coin Magic. Also a prominent children's entertainer, performing over 14,000 kids shows in his career.
Here is a coin trick demonstration by this famous coin magic expert, posted on YouTube.
Karl Germain (1878-1959)
By 1915, he was one of the most famous magicians in the world, known for his stylish and elegant performances, and his wonderful color posters.
Here is a discussion of the life of this famous magician, posted by David Dellman on YouTube.
Robert Harbin (1908-1978)
South African born magician (real name Edward "Ned" Williams) who was a legendary inventor of important stage illusions, including Assistant's Revenge and the Zig Zag Lady, both still popular today. Also invented the classic Vanishing Radio effect. In the early 1940's he was the first magician to successfully break into television in Great Britain.
Here is Harbin's performance of his Zig Zag Lady illusion, posted by MagicWeek on YouTube.
Eddie Fechter (1916-1979)
American closeup magician, owner of the Forks Hotel in Buffalo, New York, and co-founder of the 4F Convention (Fechter's Finger-Flinging Frolic).
Here is a clip of Eddie Fechter performing closeup magic, posted by Pop Hayden on YouTube.
Kuda Bux (1910-1981)
Pakistani magician (real name Khuda Bakhsh) who achieved worldwide fame, especially in the U.S., with his "sightless vision" act. Known as "The Man With the X-Ray Eyes". Despite elaborate blindfolds made of bread dough, gauze, putty, and tape, he was able to perform amazing acts like the famous Blindfold Drive, steering a speeding car through a busy street. He was one of the most requested acts on the 50's TV program "You Asked For It". Ironically, he suffered from very poor eyesight in his later years- but was still able to perform "sightless vision" without difficulty!
Here is a feature on Kuda Bux, posted by British Pathe on YouTube.
Norm Nielsen (1934-2020)
Artistic and graceful American stage magician, noted magic collector and dealer. Famous for his incredibly beautiful Floating Violin and Floating Piano routines.
Here is a clip of his fabulous FLOATING VIOLIN routine, posted by True Magic on YouTube.
David Bamberg (1904-1974)
Seventh generation magician. Son of Theo (Okito). Born in Great Britain, raised in the U.S. Gained much of his experience touring with the Raymond show, doing a Shadowgraphy act. Later toured with his own show, as Fu Manchu, with most of his work in South America .
Here is rare footage of Fu Manchu performing the BULLET CATCH, posted by Rolando Medina Magic on YouTube.
Richard Himber (1907-1966)
Famous as a bandleader and practical joker as well as a magician and inventor of many magic effects, including the Himber Wallet.
Here is a film short from 1935 titled THE MAGIC OF MUSIC, with Himber combining some entertaining magic effects with some 1930s orchestra music to showcase both of his talents, posted by Peter Mintun on YouTube.
Don Alan (1926-1999)
American magician and author, Don Alan was well known for his technical excellence and relaxed attitude in performing close-up magic. He was the host of the 1960's TV program "Don Alan's Magic Ranch" in the 1960's, but he actually had a short-lived TV magic show (called "Magic HQ") that aired regionally about 10 years prior. He was also featured as "Sir Dono" on the popular "Mary Hartline's Magic Circus" TV show in the late 1950's. After his TV show was cancelled, he continued to make many guest appearances on talk shows, inlcuding "The Mike Douglas Show", "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson", and "The Dick Cavett Show". An inventive and clever card magician, he popularized the Invisible Deck trick by performing it numerous times on "The Tonight Show".
Here is a clip from the November 1960 broadcast of MAGIC HQ, posted by LMUK on YouTube.
Ted Annemann (1907-1942)
Best known for his contributions to the art of mentalism, Ted Annemann was an extraordinary card magician as well. Born Theodore John Squires, Annemann was an extremely talented performer, but a very troubled person. His almost unbearable bouts of stage fright gave him an ironic advantage when performing mentalism. Sometimes he would be so upset that he would shake and break out into a sweat; his audiences thought that this was "proof" that he was putting forth incredible mental effort! Annemann was preparing an exhibition of the Bullet Catch when life became too much for him, and he committed suicide. Annemann is still very influential in magic, and copies of his long-running publication, The Jinx, are very collectible.
Here is footage from the 1930's featuring him performing the BULLET CATCH in Ontario, Canada, posted by Vintage Magic Archives on YouTube.
P.C. Sorcar Sr. (1913-1971)
Considered to be India's greatest stage magician. Real name Protul Chandra Sorcar. He is credited with modernizing the magician character in Indian magic. His most legendary trick involved his arriving very late onstage, purposely making the audience frustrated with anticipation. Finally taking the stage, and acknowledging the loud complaints from the crowd, he would direct the audience members to look at their watches, exclaiming that he was actually on time. When the crowd checked their watches, the hands had moved backward to the scheduled start time for the show.
Here is footage from 1957 featuring him performing some illusions, posted by P C Sorcar on YouTube.
Harlan Tarbell (1890-1960)
American stage magician most famous as the author and illustrator of the well-known Tarbell Course in Magic, originally started in 1928 as a 60-lesson correspondence course. It is still considered to be the most important magic instruction course available today. Tarbell also had a strong second career as a stage magician, specializing in mentalism effects, during the 1930s. Billed as "The World Famous Mystery Scientist", he featured his Eyeless Vision act. He is also credited with creating the ideas for over 200 magic tricks.
Here is footage from 1934 featuring him performing some blindfolded tricks, posted by MyFootage.com on YouTube.
The Great Lafayette (1872-1911)
German-born illusionist (real name Sigmund Neuberger) noted for his elaborate stage settings and spectacular showmanship. He began his career as an imitator of Ching Ling Foo, but he eventually became one of the highest-paid performers in vaudeville. His excellent quick-change routine as well as dramatic illusions such as his own Lion's Bride (Lady to Lion) made him very popular. He also had an extraordinary devotion to his dog, Beauty, a small mixed breed given to him by Harry Houdini. He was killed in Scotland during a performance at the Edinburgh Theater (now the Edinburg Festival Theater) when the stage props caught fire from an overturned lantern. Buried in Piersfield Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland. The ghost of Lafayette is said to haunt the theater where he died.
Here is an EXCELLENT and VERY ENTERTAINING video overview of Lafayette's life and contributions to magic, posted by Art of Impossible on YouTube.