Blackstone, a Magician’s Life

Blackstone, a Magician’s Life: The World and Magic Show of Harry Blackstone, 1885-1965

Blackstone, a Magician’s Life by Daniel Waldron is a well-researched biography of Harry Blackstone Sr. — from interviews with surviving members of Blackstone’s shows, as well as written records. In addition, it’s also a very readable biography — not dry, but easily read and enjoyed. Read More…

The Importance of Deportment

The Importance of Deportment – by Hermann Pallme, originally published in The Crest Magician, January 1908

Deportment means the art of properly presenting a trick before an audience. Not a few professional magicians and most amateurs are deficient in this most important phase of their work.

In order to make myself perfectly clear I think it best to expound this question of deportment in a series of
sections. The order in which these are given is not necessarily the order of their importance. Read More…

Milbourne Christopher biography

Biography of Milbourne Christopher (March 23, 1914 – June 17, 1984)

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. Milbourne Christopher rose to become one of the most well-known magicians of his day. He was recognized by the public at large due in part to his appearances on television programs such as the Mike Douglas Show, The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, That Regis Philbin Show, and his own TV specials. Read More…

Fact Checking HOUDINI The Miniseries

Fact checking Houdini the miniseries, by John CoxEditorial review of Fact Checking HOUDINI The Miniseries, by John Cox, courtesy of

In 2014 the HISTORY channel aired a new biopic about the world’s most famous magician and escape artist, Harry Houdini. Written by Nicholas Meyer and starring Adrien Brody, it promised to tell the “cradle to grave” story of Houdini’s amazing career. But what was fact and what was fiction? Read More…

Houdini 1998

Harry Houdini 1998 biopicHoudini 1998

Recently, I watched the 1998 Houdini TV biography; I was interested to see how it stood up to other Houdini biographies I’ve seen, such as 1950’s Houdini biography with Tony Curtis, or the more recent Houdini with Adrien Brody. In my opinion, both were entertaining fiction, but very poor biographies. So how did the 1998 version compare? Read More…

Howard Thurston

Howard Thurston biography, as originally published in The Crest Magician, January 1908

Howard Thurston was born in Ohio not many more than thirty years ago, and was, like the late Charles Bertram the English magician, intended by his parents for the ministry. With this profession in view he spent nearly four years at Northfield, Mass., studying with the famous revivalist, Dwight L. Moody. But Mr. Thurston since a boy had a yearning for the field of magic, and he determinedly set himself to work to master the arts of the conjurer and the illusionist. Read More…

The way our senses play us false

The way our senses play us false.
(originally published in The Crest Magician, December 1907)

Our senses deceive us curiously at times. A flash of lightning lights up the ground for only one-millionth of a second, yet it seems to us to last ever so much longer. What happens is that the impression remains in the eye or the retina for about one-eighth of a second, or 124,000 times as long as the flash lasts. If on a dark night a train speeding along at sixty miles an hour is lit up by lightning flash it appears stationary, yet in the eighth of a second during which we seem to see it the train travels eleven feet. But we really only see it during one-millionth of a second, and in that time it travels only one-hundredth of an inch. Read More…

Magic as a Profession

Magic as a Profession, by Hermann Pallme.

Not only is there no better divertisement for adult, or child than the study and practice of magic, but there is scarcely a more profitable field for a profession.

In the former case, it takes the mind off the cares and worries of daily routine, serving as a splendid relaxation for oneself and an unlimited source of entertainment for one’s friends. Read More…

Farewell Tour of The Dean of Magic

Farewell Tour of The Dean of Magic

(originally published in The Crest Magician, December, 1907)

Kellar, the world-famous magician, began a week-end engagement at the  Lyceum yesterday, giving his performance in the presence of crowded houses afternoon and evening. The bills announce this as Kellar’s farewell tour.  He is sixty-four years of age, and having Avon fame and fortune has decided to yield the center of the stage to a younger man. Kellar’s mantle is to fall upon the shoulders of Howard Thurston, a young magician who has been a top-liner in vaudeville for several years. Read More…

The Study of Magic as a Social Advantage

The Study of Magic as a Social Advantage, by Hermann Pallme.

(originally published in The Crest Magician, November, 1907)

While magic is a splendid profession, both as to being a dignified calling and a remunerative one, yet it is my purpose in this chapter to consider it in its broader field, that of the amateur — and when I say amateur, I mean the correct definition of the word, “a person who practices an art, especially a fine art.not as a means of livelihood or professionally, but for the love of it.”

There are many advantages for the amateur in magic, its educational value, as a means and incentive of research into chemistry, mechanics, history and languages, its development of natural grace and poise, and its general improvement and broadening influence on the mind. But the main point to the amateur is the social advantages, and these are so manifold that I shall endeavor to here take them up in detail. Read More…