Sunday, April 19, 2015

BALTIMORE MAGIC (The 18th & 19th Centuries)

Friday, December 3rd 1787 at the Old Theater FALCONI spoke five languages fluently and would entertain French soldiers stationed in Baltimore and elsewhere along the east coast.
Signor Falconi put on the earliest recorded magic performance in Baltimore on December 3, 1787 at the Old Theater. The Italian magician traveled the East Coast performing “Natural Philosophical Experiments,” which mostly relied on mechanical means. In his act, he used a hidden magnet to stop watches and attract small metal objects. He also employed an automaton who could answer audience members’ questions and predict which numbers would come on a pair of dice rolled by a volunteer. For the grand finale, Falconi would load a piece of paper with a question written on it into a pistol, which he fired out of the theater. A dove would then appear instantly bearing the answer to the question on the paper in its beak.
Baltimoreans went wild for Falconi’s show. He extended his stay in the city for several weeks and he rolled out more exciting illusions with even more exotic names for each show. People paid a handsome sum to see the “Talisman Chinois” and the “Theophrastus Paracelsus” in person— 75 cents for box seats and 50 for those in the pit. Four lucky—and presumably rich—attendees could pay to sit on stage during the show.
Henry Ridgely Evans
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Baltimore’s own 
Librarian-Lawyer-Journalist-Mason-Magic Historian Extraordinaire!!!

  Considered one of the 20th Century’s preeminent magic historians. 
His ability to write and record benefits the magic profession to this day!
ELIJAH J. BOND Inventor of The Ouija Board 
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