Have you ever heard of Adelaide Herrmann? Dubbed “The Queen of Magic” during her fifty-year career in the art, Herrmann was certainly the most successful female magician of her time, if not all time. You can learn all about her incredible life in the latest episode of What’sHerName, a podcast dedicated to discussing remarkable women throughout history. Appearing on the podcast will be mentalist and Merlin Award winner, Paul W Draper, alongside usual hosts Katie Nelson and Olivia Meikle.
Here’s a few spoilers. Adelaide Hermann née Scarcez began her career as a dancer and Velocipede rider before entering the magic industry proper as an assistant to her husband, Alexander Hermann, also known as “Herrmann the Great.” Together they performed feats of escapology and magic, including the infamous bullet catch trick, until Alexander’s death in 1896. Just a month after the death of her husband, Adelaide performed the bullet catch on her own, with surviving publicity material describing her as catching six bullets fired at her by local militiamen. What followed was an eventful, successful career that lasted her well into old age. She toured London and Paris, and then made her Broadway debut in 1903. She was still performing in her 70s until a fire in a New York City warehouse destroyed her props and took the lives of several of her performing animals.
And that’s just the surface level stuff; the podcast goes into far more detail about the times and triumphs of the Queen of Magic. You can listen to it in full in the embedded player below, visit the What’sHerName podcast website, or subscribe to the What’sHerName podcast on iTunes, Android, Google Play, or Stitcher.