Magic at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World from 1998.


The literary icon Charles Dickens, famed British writer of the 19th century, also loved magic!

Charles Dickens was an amateur magician who often performed at his friends’ kids’ birthday parties.

Kirk Demarais once wrote a book, Life of the Party: A Visual History of the S.S. Adams Company, that is now hard to obtain. But dig if you can because it’s filled with hilarious memories of the mischievous monkey business kids got up to with gags manufactured by the S.S. Adams Company.

While the book is out of print and expensive, this entry by Demarais on his blog gives you a taste of the fun kids used to be able to have in terrifying their elders.



Here’s Orson Welles appearing on Dean Martin’s TV show in the mid 1960s; they’re both having some fun. Welles was a true magician at heart.


Imam was one of the few practitioners of Fakir magic in the United States. This is just one example of his ability to fuse drama with comedy, and make you uncomfortable in the process.

The Fakirs of old India sat crossed legged on a tattered mat, amid piles of cloth, and performed miracles: charming cobras, Indian cups and balls, the human volcano, producing sparrows from beneath a small  basket, lifting a heavy weight with the eyelids. These magicians learned their trade through an oral tradition that dates back hundreds of years, yet their mysteries are as vibrant today as ever.  Let’s take a time machine …

The fabulous magician, manipulator, and historian Levent writes:

“Here’s a great film of the amazing French magician Jean Valton in 1964. He was a math teacher who, during the German occupation of France, spent five years smoking cigarettes and practicing card manipulations. He won first prize in Manipulation at the very first FISM convention (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques: The World Championships of Magic) held in 1948 in Lausanne, Switzerland. A lot of what he is doing is Cardistry before there was such a thing. And the manipulation sequences are superb.”

You can read more about Valton in an article by Jamy Ian Swiss at Magicana:

John Scarne was a gambling expert and magician whose career lasted through much of the 20th century. Here he shows you some amazing ways to cheat at gambling.

Ricky Jay was a world-famous expert magician and card handler. This early appearance on the Canadian show Magic Palace has been little seen … until now.


The world’s greatest stage magician, David Copperfield, had a long run of 17 TV specials before settling down into his permanent residency at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where he still performs 15 shows a week. On one of his long-ago TV specials, he debuted a trick that would become a classic in the world of magic, “The Linking Cards,” created by the cleverest guy in the world, Paul Harris. Enjoy this blast from the past.