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Signor Blitz Obituary, as published in the New York Times



Antonio Blitz, the magician, better known as Signor Blitz, died at his residence, No 1,831 Wallace Street, Philadelphia, at 9:30 o’clock yesterday morning. He had been in declining health for the past four years, being troubled with a severe cough, which finally ended in consumption. Signor Blitz had been confined to his house for the past six weeks, and his death was not unexpected. He was in the 67th year of his age, and leaves a wife and four children. Antonio Blitz was born in Deal, Kent County, England, on the coast, June 21st 1810. When about the age of 12 he learned something of legerdemain. In September, 1823 his father sent him in  the care of a special attendant to Hamburg, where he made his first appearance in public. His first appearance in his native country was in Dover in 1825. After traveling through England, Ireland and Scotland, he headed for America, leaving Liverpool on the 1st of August, 1834, and arrived in New York in the early part of September, making his initial bow before an American audience at Niblo’s Garden some weeks later. After a visit to Boston he went to Philadelphia, (which he afterward made his home,) and established himself in a large hall at Eight and Chestnut streets. The Quaker City seemed to suit the artist, so well that after making an extended tour of the country he returned, and permanently established himself in the Buildings where, during the later years of his life, he performed to large audiences. He was a great favorite, being very affable in his manners, and it will be a long while before the pleasant memories of Signor Blitz and his wonderful boy “Bobby” are effaced from the  minds of the residents of Philadelphia. About 14 years ago, his first wife having died, he married a Miss Eaton of Groton, Mass. This lady survives him, but the children are those of his first wife. He was the father of the celebrated opera singer Mme. Van Zandt, who is now in England, and also of Mrs. Metz, residing in this City. During the later years of his life he performed only for the benefit of charitable institutions, having amassed a large fortune for himself and his family by his previous efforts. The automaton trumpeter, the never-failing egg sack, and the Sphinx were the result of his creative fancy. During his life he performed before many of the last remaining sovereigns of Europe.

The New York Times

Published January 29, 1877

Copyright © The New York Times

PDF of Signor Blitz’ obituary, as published in the New York Times

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