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Topic: Fun topics in the history of stage magic?
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Dec 1, 2009 10:44PM)
Apparently I'm somewhat of a resident expert on one of the other (non-magic) boards I post on, and it looks like a few people are actually interested in the history of stage magic, and want me to write a few short articles/blog entries on the subject. I'm thinking the first one will be on the invention of (and subsequent development/ripping off of) the most famous illusion- sawing a woman in half. I'm at a loss for further topics, though- there's a ton of history, but what would be interesting to a layman?* Houdini's too famous; I'd like to discuss some of the other famous magicians and bring them to life for the average reader.

What bits of the history of magic and illusion do you think would be worth telling? I'll provide links or re-post any good stuff I write.

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* - No, I don't intend to expose any secrets, just relate the characters and their stories, and maybe some context to bring greater appreciation to the art.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Dec 1, 2009 11:13PM)
The bullet catch is cool to discuss. Another thing is the Mantle of Magic and how it sometimes hit and sometimes missed on who held the title (Dante got screwed over). The Hermanns, uh....the Dutch family, dang, slipped my mind but they performed with Chinese names at times and were very popular in South America.
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Dec 1, 2009 11:57PM)
Heh, already did a teaser concerning Chung Ling Soo (aka William Robinson) and the bullet catch. I'll probably do a more thorough write-up on him at some point. It takes guts to pose as a China-man when you're an American of European descent.
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Dec 3, 2009 12:28PM)
[quote]
On 2009-12-02 00:13, MagicSanta wrote:
The bullet catch is cool to discuss. Another thing is the Mantle of Magic and how it sometimes hit and sometimes missed on who held the title (Dante got screwed over). The Hermanns, uh....the Dutch family, dang, slipped my mind but they performed with Chinese names at times and were very popular in South America.
[/quote]

santa the Dutch family you are trying to remember were the Bambergs. Example of stage names. Okito, Of course his Son David Bamberg A.K.A. FuManchu.
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Dec 3, 2009 02:49PM)
"mantle of magic"??? never heard of it. What is it?


Cardini, Scarne, or penn and teller.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Dec 3, 2009 03:07PM)
The Mantle of Magic is the title created by Keller and thus was THE only master magician. He passed the title on to Thurston who thus became the master magician who then gave it to either Dante or Blackstone, depending on who you ask. It then was passed on to Lee Grabel (sp?) and finally to Lance Burton, who is now the only one who rightfully has the title Master Magician, everyone is a poser. Basically who ever rules the roost gets to pick a successor as 'top magician', some day Burton will pass it on.
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Dec 3, 2009 03:17PM)
Santa, where would I find more info on this? A book? Never heard of Grabel..


I assume the title was created for the press he would get, but it is taken seriously? Houdini didn't appoint a new "king of kards"
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Dec 3, 2009 06:13PM)
No, Houdini was a fan of Keller. If you do a search you might find historical info on line about the Mantle of Magic.
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Dec 4, 2009 03:41PM)
I'm sure Alexander Herrmann would have contested Keller's Mantle.

The history of magic is a fun thing- humility is not always a favored trait among the giants in history- but this is a good thing, because the competition often drove them to further greatness. (And still makes for many amusing anecdotes.)
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Dec 4, 2009 09:18PM)
I think Herrmann was dead already.
Message: Posted by: RoryFeldmanMagic (Dec 5, 2009 04:21PM)
Technically Thurston never passed the "mantle" to anyone...
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 6, 2009 07:56PM)
I have a poster of Kellar passing the "Mantle of Magic" onto Thurston. It was red with gold trim.



I was working on a fan-fic with a plotline about an aged Asian magician who has the mantle. He's on a final tour intending to pass the mantle on to his successor (who's also engaged to his grand-daughter) unaware the the "successor" is actually working with a famous magic-exposer who wants the rights to the magicians famous "dragon illusion" so he can expose it on national television.