Houdin, Jean Eugène Robert

Houdin, Jean Eugène Robert

or

Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin

(zhäN özhĕn` rōbĕr` o͞odăN`), 1805–71, French conjurer and magician. Originally a clockmaker, he was celebrated for his optical illusions and mechanical devices and for his attributing his "magic" to natural instead of supernatural means. Houdin was the first to use electromagnetism for his effects. He wrote an autobiography (1857) and Secrets of Prestidigitation and Magic (1868). Harry HoudiniHoudini, Harry
, 1874–1926, American magician and writer, b. Budapest, Hungary, as Erik Weisz, later modified to Ehrich Weiss; his stage name honors the French magician Houdin. By 1893 he and his younger brother were touring with traveling circuses.
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, who named himself for Houdin, wrote The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin (1908).

Bibliography

See H. R. Evans, The Master of Modern Magic (1932).

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