2 Aug 2009

Magic, part 2

Well, this is one of the few promises I keep on this blog. Wouldn't want to talk about the wedding I went to last night because many many others would do the same anyway, nothing new...

I'll continue on modern magic. And I'll use the same amateurish source, because I'm lazy to find another one.


Around the fourth century, magicians were thought to be evil and devil worshippers, and were turned against by Christians. In the Middle Age, magicians were even imprisoned and executed, just like witches. It took about 1200 years before they re-emerged as illusionists, performing tricks without any supernatural powers whatsoever. Eventually, they became entertainers too.

Now, because I have very little time left, I'll just copy from the webpage itself:

Magicians emerged as entertainers.
One such entertainer, Chevalier Joseph Pinetti, in 1782 wowed audiences with his repertoire of tricks.
He produced a blossoming orange tree on stage which bore fruit. His wife assisted him in both escape and mentalist tricks. Billed as the "Professor of Natural Magic," his magic clearly belonged to the new modern magic.

The nineteenth century ushered in the age of technical magic, as some magicians developed devices to aid in the magician's illusions. Using optical devices, electromagnets, and forms of stage lighting, they were able to baffle audiences with very elaborate illusions.
The German, Alexander Herrmann, known as Hermann the Great, did his act using all types of stage magic, from close up to full stage productions. Herrmann used live animals and did both levitation and vanishing as a varied menu in his shows. Harry Kellar, an American, took center stage as the most popular magician for over a decade. T. Nelson Downs, a vaudevillian, billed as the "King of Koins" and Howard Thurston, master card manipulator rose to prominence. Thurston invested his money in creating an extravaganza, a magic show, which dominated the American magic scene for twenty-five years.

Harry HOUDINI, one of America's greatest magicians, "Handcuff King and Escape Artist" came to be famous for his spectacular escape act. One of his most sensational escapes was his own creation, the "Chinese Water Torture Cell," a large tank of water into which he was immersed head downward after his feet were secured in stocks. Houdini, also created the illusion of "Walking Through a Brick Wall" and "The Vanishing Elephant," both of which have been updated by David Copperfield, another famous American Magician. Copperfield, still performing today, has walked through the Great Wall of China and Made the Statue of Liberty disappear. In 1974, Doug Henning appeared on Broadway in 'The Magic Show', which added many new fans to the entertainment.

Informative enough? If not, I can't do anything about it because I really have to go now... :|