Houdin, Jean Eugène Robert

Houdin, Jean Eugène Robert


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. His real name was Ehrich Weiss; his stage name honors the French magician Houdin. He was famed for his escapes from bonds of every sort—locks, handcuffs, straitjackets, and sealed chests
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, who named himself for Houdin, wrote The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin (1908).


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