Daily Archives: June 4, 2017

History of Magic and Illusions

Throughout history, magic tricks and illusions of grandeur have long been a form of entertainment. For many years the public has enjoyed watching magicians perform sleight-of-hand tricks, vanishing acts, mentalism, street magic, escapism, along with many other types of magic.

Perhaps the first type of magic was used in Iran by Magi in the early eighteenth century. In fact, the word ‘magic’ comes from the word ‘magi’ of Iran. From there, though, magic tricks traveled all the way around the world, through Europe, Britain, Russia, and eventually to North America.

Some of the most popular and famous magicians throughout the world have been Harry Houdini, Maskelyne, Cooke, and Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin. In fact, Harry Houdini actually took his stage name from Robert-Houdin. But Robert-Houdin is one of the first magicians that many people refer to when speaking of early magicians because he opened a magic theater in the mid-nineteenth century.

But what defines a magic trick that these magicians are known for? In today’s society, magic tricks have been characterized as a form of children’s entertainment, making magic fun and light-hearted. Some examples of magic tricks that are performed on-stage include making a bird disappear, wildlife removal, pulling a rabbit out of a hat, and using smoke and mirrors throughout the show. However, in earlier years when magic tricks and shows started taking shape some of the popular shows included many more illusions of grandeur, including more tricks that were composed of secret traps in the floor of the stage and other props and utilities that used the magician’s surroundings.

There is also something called “The Magician’s Oath” that has been used for many years. In earlier years when magic shows first started to become popular magicians and those who practiced sleight-of-hand tricks and illusions for large audiences, magicians took “The Magician’s Oath” seriously. This oath dictated that that the magician was never to reveal a secret on how they did their performances, either by accident or on purpose. If there were some magicians that were unreliable and broke this oath then other colleague magicians probably would have been less likely to teach them tricks.

As mentioned earlier, though, magic tricks have long been a form of entertainment. Almost everyone throughout the world loves to watch magicians perform any type of magic trick that they are able to see. Perhaps one of the reasons that people love watching magic shows is because of the element of surprise and mystery that magicians are so good at performing. Many love to guess how magic tricks are done while others insist that they not know! Another reason that magic tricks are popular, especially with children across the world today, is because they are delighted that they can “fool” others into thinking they have done something completely amazing!

All things considered, magic tricks have been around for a long time and there’s no evidence that they’ll be fading into the distance any time soon. The element of mystery about magic tricks is what many people love and as long as magicians can continue producing great magic tricks then magic shows will continue to be popular!