Magicians all around the world have invented new methods, skills, and tricks and taken help of technology to amuse their audiences. Several magicians amaze us with the help of illusions which look real and unbelievable. The history of magic dates back to as old as 2700 BC. Historically, magic always was conjuring. The development and improvement of magic started to take pace in the 19th and 20th centuries when Harry Houdini and Dai Vernon were performing magic. History has seen some great magicians who are inspirational to others. They are innovative and knowledgeable. Who are the greatest magicians in history?
Harry Blackstone Jr. is one of the greatest magicians of all time. The American magician has pulled out an estimated 80,000 rabbits from his sleeves and hats. After the death of the legendary magician, his magic equipment were auctioned, sold and used by other great magicians around the world. At the time of his death, he was the most awarded magicians of all time. Academy of Magical Arts awarded him Magician of the Year award in 1979 and 1985. The great magician David Copperfield owns his Tire Vanish in his museum of magic.
Ricky Jay has been regarded as “the most sleight of hand artist of all time”. The American stage artist, magician and writer have extensively written on magic and its history. The “cult” magician developed skills on sleight of hand feats which even baffles his colleagues. Apart from sleight of hand, Jay is known for card tricks, card throwing, memory tricks and stage patter. He is able to throw a card like a boomerang and cut the card into perfect clean half with a giant scissors when the card returns. Jay was an inductee of Guinness Book of Records for throwing the card at a speed of 90 miles per hour and 190 ft.
Derren Brown is a famous English illusionist and mentalist. He has written books for magicians. He made television debut via Derren Brown: Mind Control in 2000. His magic tricks are done with an essence of pure psychological means. Some of his psychological means are traditional method, conjuring method, cognitive psychology, hypnosis, body language reading, subliminal, memory techniques and ideomotor suggestion. He acquired hypnotic skills once after starting to perform close-up magic. He is powerful enough to read a person whether the person is lying. Brown uses a wide variety of techniques to achieve his tricks which is difficult to guess.
Harry August Jansen, also known professionally as Dante is a world-famous magician from Denmark. The magician traveled all over the world with the name Dante the Magician. Historically, the period when Dante was at his career high has been termed as the “Golden Age of Magic” and this period ended after his death. Dante mystified and thrilled millions worldwide through theaters, films and television. He is often seen uttering is his trademark words “Sim Sala Bim”, the words were taken from a Danish children’s song. In 1925, Jansen partnered with magician Howard Thurston. Thurston realized the talent and possible competition for him. The duo formed the Dante the Magician Inc. whose co-owner was Thurston.
David Blaine is known for his powerful endurance feats. The American illusionist is great for setting new world records and is famous for breaking world records. Blaine’s television show Street Magic was a breakthrough in television magic. Once asked about his performance style, Blaine explained, “I’d like to bring magic back to the place it used to be 100 years ago.”’ Some of his daring wizardry are “Buried Alive”, “Frozen in Time”, “Vertigo”, “Electrified: One Million Volts Always On” and “Drowned Alive.” He has attempted several times to be part of the Guinness World Record.
Penn and Teller are American magicians who have always performed together since 1970s. The duo is great entertainer as they mix comedy with all their acts. Shock appeal and fantasy violence are the main theme of the duo with a mix of humor. Some of the daring stunts of Penn and Teller are hanging upside down on a cushion of spikes, submerged in a tank of water and run over by a tractor-trailer. Sometimes the magicians reveal a magic trick to the public but these revelations are actually crafted by them. Such public revelations are actually designed more spectacular and weird.
Criss Angel became famous through his Television program Criss Angel Mindfreak. In 2009, he became the Magician of the Decade and in 2010, he was Magician of the Century by the International Magicians Society. He performs mind-blowing and extremely dangerous magic tricks. He is known to have performed an updated version of the Houdini underwater trick as a tribute to the legend. Angel is a highly provocative illusionist with a darker side. Some of his tricks include hooking his back by suspending himself in the air, rising in the air, turning coffee into cockroaches, setting him on fire, and so on.
The famous illusionist from USA is often attributed as the most commercially successful magician in history by Forbes. He is also known for his unique way of doing magic (by storytelling). Earning 11 Guinness World Records is the biggest achievement of Copperfield in his career of 40 years. The US Library of Congress named him a Living Legend. In 2015, he became one of the highest earning celebrities in the world. He also became known as one of the greatest entertainers of all time. He was a highly immersive professional magician who met with several accidents while performing in front his audience.
Dynamo is the stage name of the great magician Steven Frayne. In the 48th Annual Awards show by The Academy of Magical Arts, Dynamo won the Magician of the Year award. The English magician is famous for his television show Dynamo: Magician Impossible. Dynamo is known to perform unbelievable and incredible magic. Apart from being the king of cards, the magician is able to walk on water and perform levitation. There are several more to his epic list of magic that are hard to believe.
No magician list is complete without Harry Houdini. He is one of the greatest illusionist and escape artist of all time. The magician is known for performing life-threatening magic and public stunts. The Hungarian-American magician challenged the police force to lock him up. In 1904, London Daily Mirror challenged Houdini to escape a special handcuff that took 5 years for a famous locksmith to complete. Houdini accepted the challenge. He went on to perform the stunt in front of a crowd of 4,000 and 100 journalists. Unlocking the mirror handcuff took more than an hour for the artist and he was successful. Even today nobody is able to know the exact method by which Houdini set himself free.