American born magician and magic dealer (real name Carlo Sommer) who invented the rubber dove as well as Balls of Fire (production of fire from a paper sack) and the Carlo Glass Production, marketing these effects through his Ohio magic shop.
Real name Lyle Laughlin, he had a successful career performing his sophisticated brand of magic in U.S. theaters and clubs, retiring in 1955. He is credited with inventing Three-To-One Ropes, and authoring a number of effects published in magic magazines.
We really could use some help filling in the blanks for this biography. We know he lived in Macon, Georgia, was known as the Dean of Slycology" and that he was regarded as the inventor of "The Professor's Nightmare." Any other VERIFIABLE information you can help us add to this biography will be greatly appreciated by all present and future generations of magicians.
The effect which today we call "Equally Unequal Ropes" was invented by Bob Carver c.1956, and won the IBM Originality Trophy in 1957. The judges did not believe that what he was doing was pure sleight of hand until he exposed the trick to them. It was based on the Quad Ropelets routine by Hen Fetsch (1955). Later, the effect, as performed by Paul Young at an MAES convention, was marketed by Gene Gordon (1958), who came up with the name "Professor's Nightmare."
Also invented: Progressive Coin Production
Lawyer. Semi-pro mentalist. Co-founder of Psychic Entertainers Association in 1978. Edited Vibrations 1978-81 & 1984. Inventor of several mental magic effects, and author of many books on mental magic. Trustee of Jim Gerrish's Wiz Kids, Inc., in 1982.
Cassidy's Mentalism (e-book), The Art of
Mentalism (1983), The Principia Mentalia
(1994), and The Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy (2004).
(1923 - 2007)
Born and lived his entire life in Seattle, WA.
Invented "Bryce's Screen" (c. 1950) a six-fold screen production that can be performed surrounded.
Born in the Ukraine, fled to Poland, and finally immigrating to the USA in 1926, Jack began a career as a magician, inventor and magic dealer.He excelled in the art of sleeving, and ran Philadelphia's oldest magic studio (Chanin's Studio of Magic) until 1981, marketing hundreds of effects of his own invention.
Invented: Mesh Egg Bag
A favorite at magic conventions, he also performed an Oriental act as Cha-Nin. Works include: Enyclopedia of Sleeving, 1947; Hello, Sucker! 1934; Cigar Manipulation, 1937; Silks at Your Fngertips.
French amateur magician, a specialist in card magic who invented the Charlier Pass as well as a card-marking system using pin pricks. One of the more famous street magicians in the late 1800s.
(1891 - 1930)
Chinese stage magician who achieved his greatest success touring the United States and Europe in the first two decades of the 1900s. He is also credited with inventing the Han Ping Chien coin magic move.
Australian-born magician (real name Alvin H. Wheatley) who performed as an Oriental, first under under the name the Tung Pin Soo, later under the name Chop Chop.. Appeared many times on American TV, including an appearance on Ed Sullivan Show. Invented the Chop Cup (1954) Don Alan used a cut-down version of the Chop Cup on a national TV show and popularized it among magicians everywhere.
Henry Christ was an American magician born in New York City. He was a gifted mathematician and from an early age developed an avid interest in sleight of hand magic. He worked for the city of New York's Department of Transportation and headed the subway's switch and signal division.
During the 1930's, his best friend and confidant was Dai Vernon and was a member of the New York "Inner Circle." After Vernon moved to California, Henry became friendly with Edmund Balducci, and another group soon formed at Ed's house in Brooklyn. Later in life, Henry was a close friend to Dr. Persi Diaconis, with whom he shared a love for magic and mathematics. Per his behest, all of his magic notes, papers, and personal correspondence were left to Dr. Diaconis.
Invented: the Christ Force, Color-Changing Deck, Christ Half Pass, Fabulous Four Ace Routine, and Dead Man's Hand.
Information and photo added courtesy of his grandaughter, Michele Christ and his son, Mike Christ (4/2/09).
Generally billed as "Magic Christian of Vienna", this Austrian magician's real name is Christian Stelzel. Multiple awards, including FISM First Place (Manipulation) in 1973, 1976 and 1979 plus First Place for Closeup Invention in 1979 as well. Austria has honored him for his research work on the history of magic as well as his talents as a magical entertainer and Goodwill Ambassador. Many appearances on television. Associated with Piatnik, manufacturer of trick decks. Author. Invented Ketten-Zauber and Color Changing Lighter.
Major American magical entertainer, author, inventor and collector. Performed a popular full-evening show for many years. Produced and performed in the first network TV magic special, "The Festival of Magic", broadcast on May 27, 1957 on NBC-TV (a show which also featured Cardini's last television appearance). He wrote a long-running column in Hugard's Magic Monthly under the pen name "Frank Joglar", derived from words meaning "candid magician".
Invented: Telegram to Flowers, Eeire Rabbit , and the original Forgetful Freddy.
He wrote a number of classic books on magic history, including Panorama of Magic, The Illustrated History of Magic, Milbourne Christopher's Magic Book (1977), and Houdini: The Untold Story.
Born Pierre Feyss Cartier in France, he became famous as a cigarette manipulator. He was the author of Encyclopedia of Cigarette Magic(1937), Celebrated Cigarettes, Rope Royale (1942). Many of his magic inventions have something to do with ropes and silks and will be found in Stewart James' Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks and Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic.
Al Cohen was the proprietor of Al's Magic Shop in
Washington DC for 60 years. He occasionally performed a
comic magic act under the name "Pernell Zorch."
He also invented some magic effects and originated
routines for many standard effects.
Collins was born in London. Affected by the magic performances of Chung Ling Soo , in 1905 he began to perform as "Loo Sing." Collins invented many magic effects, largely based on mechanical and hydraulic principles. Credited with inventing the Jumping Rubber Bands in 1911. He wrote various books: Original Magical Creations (1915), Deceptive Conceptions in Magic (1920), Collin's Card Conceits (1925), A Conjuring Mélange. He also wrote numerous articles in The Sphinx, The Jinx, Hugard's Magic Monthly, Pentagram, and The Linking Ring.
(born Frederick A. Collins, 1919 - 1993)
Magician, magic teacher, mentor, owner of Mecca Magic Shop in Bloomfield, NJ, Ted was also inventor of "The Panama Rope Trick" described in the Tarbell Course of Magic, as well as many packet card effects and improvements to existing effects. He was author of Wax Fax. Ted was one of the founding members of Ring 106 and was also President, 1953-1954. He was a founding member of the Magic Dealer's Association and in 1966 Ted was President of the Magician's Alliance of Eastern States. Ted was also one of the first trustees of Jim Gerrish's Wiz Kids, Inc. from 1980-83.
(c.1931 - 2010)
Born Thomas William Simpson, he took the name Tony Corinda when he began working as a mentalist in the UK. He has never made his birthdate or birthplace public, but his birth year is believed to be about 1931. In 1950, he opened a magic studio where he sold all types of magic, but catered especially to mentalists. Later, he took over The Magic Shop in Tottenham Court Road in London, and by the 1960's had a second shop at Hamley's. In the 1960's, Corinda wrote a series of thirteen books on mentalism that were later collected and became the encyclopedic "Corinda's Thirteen Steps to Mentalism," published in 1968 as a complete volume by D. Robbins. His inventions are mainly from that book. There is an on-going debate as to whether Tony Corinda actually wrote the book, with rumors that both Jon Tremain and David Berglas had a hand in it. It still remains one of the essential books in every mentalist's library. Also wrote: Tele-Trickery (1961).
Invented: Birds of a Feather, The Billet Pencil, The Body Index, A Million to One, Quadruplation, De Profundus, The £75,000 Test, Corinda's Money Box, The Spirit Candles, and many more, all found in the book. Marketed effects include: Powers of Darkness (1958), Money Box (1958), Corinda's Billet Pencil (1959), H-Bombshell Prediction (1959), Dubbul (with Eric Mason) (1959), The Khan Slate Test (1959), Paradox (1960), Odd Man Out (1960), Pentaquin (1961), Blind Date (1961), New Floating Cane (1961).
(1948 - )
Born John Henry Cornelius. Kept his own name as a magician and as John Cornelius, won 1st prize in close-up at the 1979 Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques (FISM) competition.
Invented: Pen Through Anything (1993), Bendable Pen, Perfect Pen, Rising Business Card Case, Shuffle Mat, Thought Transmitter, Fickle Nickel, Instant Pro, Unseen Forces, Deck Suspension, My First Trick, The Hundred Dollar Bill Switch and more.
Wrote: Magic of John Cornelius Lecture Notes No. 1 (1975), Cornelius Card System (1980).
Media: Creative Magic DVD, The F.I.S.M. Act DVD, The Award Winning Magic of John Cornelius by Lance Pierce (2001)
Informative Web site: http://johncornelius.com/
(1967 - )
Born Fabián Antonio Corradín in Sastre, Santa Fe, Argentina, he earned his degree in Veterinary Science in 1994, the same year he discovered a group of fellow magic enthusiasts in the city of Rosario.He then became a founding partner of the GRIM (Group of Magic Illusionists from Rosario), of which he is still a member. In 1999 he received the first prize in the Inventions category at the Argentinean Congress of Illusionism. In the year 2000 the Congress of the Latin American Federation of Magic Societies (FLASOMA) took place in Mexico DF, and in this event Antón received the second prize in the category Invention and the third prize in Scripted Magic. In the year 2001 he received a prize in the category Invention in the Argentinean Congress of Ilusionism (CADI). In the 2004 FLASOMA, Antón Corradín won the 1st Prize in the categories Invention and Perfection. In the 2005 CADI, Anton Corradín was awarded the 3rd prize in the Invention and Improvement category.
Invented: Antoninus Pius's Box, Corradin Box, Mental Hammer, Money Bag, Ringing Card Case, Fish Kerchief, Prince Anton Racquet, Instant Dove Trick, Corradin's Levitation and many more.
Informative Web site: http://www.antoncorradin.com
American comedy magician, magic dealer, Magic Castle guru. He developed seriuously funny routines for the Card Duck and the Cups and Balls.
Best known for inventing the Out of This World card effect, and the Sliding Knot, Curry was the vice-precident of the Blue Cross Insurance Company of New York, and a famous amateur magician. On March 12, 1977, the Academy of Magical Arts at The Magic Castle awarded Paul Curry with a "Creative Fellowship" award. Also invented: Touch (by 1937), Curry Turnover Change (by 1940), Out of This World (by 1942), The Power of Thought (1947), Open Prediction ( 1949), Curry's Paradox (1953) Probability Zero, Linked, (1947), The Case of the Missing Hat (1965) and many more. Linked, with the red and white ropes, was used with great success in Dean Dill's Dean's Box and in Spellbinder's 2006 Sefalaljia Revisited. The Case of the Missing Hat is more familiar to magicians as the Leprechauns and their Pots of Gold as marketed as a packet effect by Marconic.
He wrote: Out of This World (1942), Something Borrowed, Something New (1942), Magician's Magic (1965) and Paul Curry's Worlds Beyond (2001).
Born Frederick Willis Culpitt , in 1909 he was booked by Chung Ling Soo for an Australian tour. From 1914-1918 he filled in for David Devant in England's famous Home of Mystery, St.George's Hall. Culpitt was well-known during the next thirty years as "The Magical Comedian." He was inventor of the Costume Trunk Illusion and the Doll's House Illusion.
De Muth began performing magic as an amateur in 1906. He began work at the Corning Glass Works in 1917, continuing there until 1955. In 1932, Fred de Muth presented an effect invented by Edward Massey, but manufactured by himself at the IBM Convention -"Glass Through Glass", described in John Northern Hilliard's Greater Magic (P.844). Later, Fred worked out a way to lock the glass in the frame and it was subsequently produced in plastic and sold by the millions as the "Penetration Frame." Other inventions, all employing his skills as a glass worker, included the Demuth Milk Bottle (1932), Demuth Mirror Glass, Saltrix (1932), Milk Supreme, Milk Miracle, Utility Glass, Super Tumbler, and Master Tumbler.
Beginning in the 1920's, de Muth was a regular contributer to the Sphinx Magic Magazine.
Credit: Information provided by an article about De Muth written by Rev. Gordon W. Mattice of Corning, NY, and published in the December 1971 Linking Ring, sent to us, along with the photo on the left, by Mark Damon.
(1843 - 1931)
Born Herbert Shakespeare Gardiner Williams, De Vere, as he later came to be known, described himself simply as a Conjurer and Humorist.He became interested in magic after seeing a performance of Professor Anderson, "The Wizard of the North." De Vere receives a great deal of mention in Hoffmann's books for inventions and original adaptations of conventional tricks of the period, primarily because he contributed information to Hoffmann, as well as apparatus for the illusrtations of "Modern Magic" and other books.
De Vere was the husband of Okita (Julia Ferrett), who performed magic in a Japanese style act preceding the debut of Okito, and the father of Ionia (Clementine DeVere) who also performed magic on the stage as the Goddess of Mystery." By 1873, De Vere had a magic shop in London known simply as "De Vere's". In 1878, he opened his shop/factory in Paris, France, aided by his sons Cyrille and Camille.
Invented a version of the Black Art Table after Hofzinser and described by Hoffmann in Later Magic as the Hellar De Vere Table, also invented a version of the Locked and Corded Boxes (ibid). Also invented the De Vere Ace Trick.
Wrote: De Vere's Book of Magic (1876)
Additional material is from The Linking Ring (June 1974)
Web sites of Interest: Postcard of De Vere; Posters of De Vere; Posters of Okita and Iona
Special thanks to Mark Damon for his Linking Ring research and contribuitions to this article.
(1945 - )
Discovered as a prodigy card magician by Dai Vernon, Diaconis dropped out of school at the age of 14 and went on tour with Vernon. By the age of 16, he struck out on his own as a magician. His need to know more about mathematics to solve certain magic problems convinced him to go back to N.Y. City College. He graduated with a degree in mathematics, was accepted at Harvard and earned his Ph.D. in 1974. He then joined the faculty of the Statistics Department at Stanford, and has remained there to this day.
In 1978, he identified what he calls "the bundle of sticks" phenomenon in magic; a magician's entire performance, like a bundle of sticks, is much stronger than the individual tricks it comprises.
Wrote: Some Tauberian Theorems Related to Coin Tossing
(with C. Stein), 1978
Came up with the original idea for the Linking Finger Ring effect, which was produced by Richard Himber and made famous as the "Himber Ring." Also invented: Persis Collectors, The Red-Black Location (with Harry Lorrayne and Roberto Giobbi - Card College Volume 1).
Media: Appears on the Video, Dai Vernons The Spirit Of Magic
Derek Dingle was born south of London. His interest in magic began when he was eight years old, and by the beginning of the 1960's he was learning much from Ross Bertram and Eddie Fechter. At the end of the sixies, he moved to New Jersey where he became a card and coin specialist on the NY Magic scene. Invented: Derek Dingle's Sympathetic Cards, Derek Dingle's Rainbow Deck, Derek Dingle's Australian Poker, Derek Dingle's Super Card Rise.
In 1971, he published with Harry Lorayne the book Dingle's Deceptions. In 1982, Richard Kaufman published The Complete Works of Derek Dingle.
Media: Stars Of Magic #4: Derek Dingle DVD; Derek Dingle's Deceptions And Delights 2-Volume DVD Set
An Austrian magician whose most famous tricks were the lighting of 200 candles on the stage with one shot of a pistol, and the Flora's Flower Bouquet Production, in which he produced a seemingly endless number of flowers out of an empty felt hat. The candle trick was actually performed using electricity, a rarely seen and mysterious commodity when he began performing this trick in 1840. He retired from magic in 1848.
Born Douglas Robert Smith in Aberdeen, Scotland, Bert became interested in magic at the age of 12. As a young magician, he took the name "Mr. Smith - The Uncanny Aberdonian." Later, when he began writing for magicians,he transposed his two Christian names and became "Bert Douglas." His first magic writing was a contribution to The Magic Wand in 1912.
In 1920, Bert emigrated to Toronto, Canada. He was author of sixteen books and hundreds of articles to UK and USA Magic magazines.
Invented: Cut and Restored Jump Rope, and many original silk magic effects in Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic.
Wrote: Original Magic For All, Magic For Men, Masonic Magical Creations.(c 1927), Master Club Tricks (1934), Patter in Rhyme (1939)
Magic Café member Mark Damon has provided much helpful information about Douglas' life and works culled from The Linking Ring.
Informative Web Site: Magicana.com
Born in Garwin, Iowa. Raised in Montour and Marshalltown, Iowa. Pro manipulator and card and coin worker since 1883. World-famous 'King of Koins'. Elected to the SAM Hall of Fame.
Prolific innovator in coin magic. Invented Back-and-Front Palm (1884), Click Pass (c 1900), Eureka Pass (c 1900), Downs Palm (c 1902), Edge Palm, Coins to Glass (c 1909), Coin Star, Coin Wand, Downs Change (1909), possibly Estimation (c 1909), Dime and Penny Trick (c 1917).
Many of his sleights and routines are described in J.B. Bobo's Modern Coin Magic.
Wrote: The Art of Magic, Modern Coin Manipulation
Born Simon Alexander in the UK, he used the name Drake (influenced by Mandrake) and wore white-face to avoid being caught while moonlighting from his day job in the music business in the 1970s. Drake is known more as an innovator than an inventor. The totally new dark style and fast pace of his Secret Cabaret TV show (12 episodes for Channel 4. 1989+1992) paved the way for many of the young stars of today. Put simply, he opened up the first young adult TV slot in TV magic.
Patrick Page cited Simon Drakes Secret Cabaret as the best magic TV series ever made. Link here: http://www.patrickpagemagic.co.uk/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=14
1995 Simon opened his own permanent magic venue in
London, Simon Drakes House of Magic,
which is full of magical devices, secret passages, and
inventions, as well as new twists on old miracles. http://www.greatlittleplace.com/reviews/simon-drakes-house-of-magic/
Born T. Francis Fritz, he spent many years touring the United States as a Chautauqua performer. His performance featured hand shadows, chalk talk, Punch and Judy shows, chapeaugraphy (the art of making many different hats with one small circle of felt) and many other markers of the variety performer's trade. He is known in magic circles for inventing the classic trick called the Twentieth Century Handkerchief (in 1900 - the beginning of the 20th Century) and as inventor of the original Blendo, known as The Perfection Flag Trick and the version of the Chinese Rice Bowls used by many magicians today. During his long ownership of the Martinka company, Ducrot was very successful as a society entertainer. Many of his original silk magic effects can be found in Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic.
This British magician performed in vaudeville as Benson Dulay & Company, sub-titled: The Sorcerer & His Apprentices. Inventor of the Multum in Parvo effect, in which a large glass of milk is poured into a small glass, without overflowing. Also invented Spin a Dart,
American magician from Florida. Became interested in magic in the 6th grade. Spent 10 years in the U.S. Navy as an electronic technician. Currently Vice President of F.A.M.E. - the Florida Association of Magical Entertainers of IBM Ring 170.
Originator of Dracula's Coffin (2010), Holiday (Season Changing) Die Box(2010), Curtains Box(2010), Fan Box(2010). Designer of: DIY Portable Card Fountain (2010), Electric BalloonPump (2010). Inventor of: Dracula Mirror Subtlety(2010).
Wrote: Remote Anythings (2011)
Invented: Wunderbar(1976), Waltzing Matilda (1967), Coin/Card, Surprise, Dusheck's Dollar, The Coin and Cord, Half-a-Buck, Dusheck's Diminshing Cards, Dollar Punch (1964), E.S.Pen, Dusheck's Copper/Silver Transpo, Pad-I-Add(1970), Case of Identity, By the Handful, Great Pretender, Half Back, Poly-Gripped, Confounding Coffer, Quick Change, Lethal Tender, Gung Ho Deck Vanish, Funky, Shell-A-Bration, Washout, Touché, Ringer (2005) and the list keeps growing.
Wrote: Dusheck's Thumbtip Magic (1991), Dusheck's Coin Magic (1992), Dusheck's Card Magic (1992), Dusheck's Mental Magic (1993), Dusheck's Close Up Magic (1994), Dusheck's Force Fields,
Media: The 1982 Lecture DVD
Web site: http://www.stevedusheck.com
Born Adolph Albert Amrein he became interested in magic at age 16, when he and a friend (Andrew Blaeser ) began performing under the name "Duval Brothers." After his "brother" gave up magic, Ade continued alone and in 1928 developed "The Rhapsody in Silk", on which his later success was based. Assisted by his wife,True, he filled the whole stage with silks. After each performance, he needed four hours in order to prepare for the next performance. You can find many of his silk magic effects in Rice's Encyclopedia of Silk Magic. Inventions included: Silk Blow Dye, Vanishing Cocktail Shaker, and a method for performing the "Smoking of the Thumb."
Wrote: A Rhapsody in Silk (1962)
Born Herbert Cecil Easley in Shawnee, Oklahoma. In Vaudeville, performing as the "Tipsy Trickster", he developed "The Lean" illusion in which his feet remained flat on the floor while he leaned forwards and backwards in the most impossible fashion.When he retired from Vaudeville, he opened the Easley's Fun Shop in Phoenix, Arizona in 1947, which he operated until 1975.
Also invented: Easley Smoke Gimmick, Cigarette Case Firebowl to Flowers, Rabbit Parade.
Wrote: Doing Magic for Youngsters with Eric P. Wilson(1948).
Photo donated by Debbie Easley (2/4/10), Bert's granddaughter and current Corporate President of Bert Easley's Fun Shop Inc.
(1941 - 2008)
El Duco was the stage name of Swedish magician Christer Gustavsson. He became interested in magicas a teen (1955), learning from a magic set. In 1979. he became asemi-pro magic inventor and mail order dealer ("El Duco's Magic") in Malmö, Sweden. He Invented and marketed over 200 effects, including "Ring in Salt", and "Fireproof". He oragnized the annual "Magic Weekend" in Sweden beginning in 1986 until the year of his death.
Also inventged: Lasso Card, Cocktail Card, Silk in Bottle, Duco's Dice, Ring and Spoon, Shrinking Die, Jumping Watch, Missing Key, Pen-Tell, Rubberband Card, Rune Stone, Your Lucky Number, and many more.
Wrote: Out of My Hands, El Duco Impromptu, Simple Ideas in Magic No.1, Simple Ideas in Magic No.2. He also contributed effects to many magic magazines.
Informative Web-site: http://www.el-duco.se/
Jardine Ellis was born Duncan Loren Campbell, a Scottish magician most known for his Ellis Ring prop. Because he had traveled all over the world, he called himself "The Globe Trotting Magician." After his death, George Johnson compiled a book of his effects called "A Few Jardine Ellis Secrets" which was the first exposure of the Ellis Ring to magicians. The ring did not become popular until Bertram Millidge republished it in the October 1938 issue of Magic Wand. Jardine's stage name is often misspelled without the final "e" - Jardin.
Invented: Glass of Wine/Liquid Production (c. 1900), Ellis Ring (premiered by him as a "Rod and Ring" on March 21, 1921 at the Magic Circle's Grand Séance in London). Jardine Ellis Slate Mystery (revealed to Mr. Stanley Norton in 1920 and revealed by him in the Johnson book after Ellis' death), Telepathy Experiment, Measured Cut and Restored String, Coin Levitation, The Magnetised Knife, and more.
Elmsley was a Scottish amateur magician, magic inventor and magic author. He was inventor of the Elmsley Count, also known as the Ghost Count. He wrote three sets of lecture notes: Low Cunning (1957). He then revamped these notes with changes to content for the USA to Low Cunning (1959). His final set of notes was Cardwork (1975).
He also has a two volume work Collected Works of Alex Elmsley.
His video series, "The Magic of Alex Elmsley: The Tahoe Sessions," features four videos of Alex, and includes his Torn And Restored Newspaper and Cups And Balls routines, both of which are well known among magicians.
Where in the world do our customers come from?