Magic Shows

by: Kristyn Taylor

Magic became popular around the 1920's dragging people into the shows to watch something that made human life more wonderful and exciting, or atleast to make it seem that way. This was going on about the time of the "The war to end all wars" which included a famous soldier Adolf Hitler. More people died during this war from the "Spanish flu" than actually fighting. With this all being a nightmare people searched for ways to be entertained and to forget about the outside world.

In the 1920's it was very common to use the "smoke & mirrors" magic trick in shows. This Trick made the audience believe a ghost was in their pesents. They did this by having an actor stand under the stage and have a light reflect off of him into the mirror making it realistic. click to learn more.


People loved to watch Al Jolson perform, he was known as the world's greatest entertainer to ever live. He was famous for his music who he and his fans believed was true magic.

The Great Houdini is one of the top 10 recognized names throughout history, but do you know who he is? Yes, he was a magician, but not just any magic man. His tricks were astonishing, thrilling the crowd with his escape acts. In the photo below it shows Houduni doing one of his famous tricks. Harry Houdini died in the year of 1926 on Halloween day from a ruptured appendix. He willed his secrets and equipment to his brother who was also an entertainer and wished that he would destroy them after he used the tricks and passed away, but his brother who went by the name of Theo Hardeen didn't seem to agree or listen, so instead he sold most of the equipment.


Howard Thurston who was also a man famous during the 1920's and 30's, ran away from home to become involved with a circus, working with another famous magician named Bro. Harry Kellar. He worked his way up trying to be like his idol. He visited Australia, India, and the Orient doing what he loved working harder at rechieving his goal. After practicing he returned to the United States to suceed being a magician. Kellar passed his magician’s wand to Thurston on 16th of May 1908. One of his popular tricks was to make a Whippet automobile filled with gorgoues women disappear. Another trick he floated an assistant above the stage and out over the footlights where she eventually vanished without a trace. Things started going downhill for Howard Thurston when he became competing against movies and during the great depression. He then died in the year 1936 being known as the best magician in the United States.

A very well known magic trick also known today was the "Handkerchief Vanishing Wand." Just like the name, the magician has a handkerchief dissapear and reaper with his magic wand. The secret to this trick is that there are two magic wands!

If you think the trick above is interresting and want to know more about it, or simply want to know other vintage tricks similar to it from the 1920's click here

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