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Learn Magic and You Can Make History

Updated on October 11, 2014

Who doesn’t love magic? Everyone does! And though we know that the magician does some tricks to show us extraordinary display which is in fact nothing magical, we are amazed and keep wondering how s/he might have achieved it. At such times, we feel that we too should learn to do such wonderful tricks to create illusions, and believe it or not, the tricks are not just entertaining, but also may save your valuables from robbers! Yes; famous American magician David Copperfield saved his wallet, passport and cell phone by fooling a mugger by making the mugger feel that he carried nothing in his pocket. Therefore it is interesting to know more about types of magic tricks and whether we can learn any or all of them!

Commonest types of magic tricks are sleight of hand, illusion, mentalist, close-up and escape.

Sleight of Hand

Sleight of hand is also known as prestidigitation or legerdemain and requires extremely skillful movements of hands or fingers. The oldest known form of sleight of hand hailed from ancient Egypt and is still popular. It involves a number of small balls. The magician does the trick of making the ball seen, vanish or change size by hiding them under inverted cups or saucers. The magic feat of this kind displayed by some magicians became utmost popular. E.g. an American magician, Paul Rosini turned cups right side up and poured out wine. Another famous trick was done by a modern Egyptian magician, Gali Gali, wherein he changed the balls into baby chicks. A British magician, Cardini, created fans of playing cards at his fingertips, after which he made lighted cigarettes, cigars and a pipe appear. Many other magicians across the world have made use of handkerchiefs, doves, watches and clocks, lighted electric bulbs and jewels in their sleight of hand presentations.


An illusionist presents a large-scale trick with the help of human helpers, animals and complex equipment. The first great illusionist of modern times was the legendary French magician, Robert-Houdin. He presented wonders in magic in the mid-1800s and was famous as the father of modern magic as he invented numerous tricks. E.g. he used to suspend his young son horizontally in air, with his arm resting atop an upright pole. Adelaide Herrmann, a British illusionist could do this trick later.

One of the most popular illusions is sawing a woman in two halves. Magician Horace Goldin performed this trick in 1921 by placing his assistant in a wooden chest with her hands, feet and head appearing out through holes, after which he sawed all through the chest without any harm to the assistant’s body. A modern illusionist, Harry Blackstone, Jr., presented same type of illusion by placing a young woman over a thin table with no covering. Then he sawed through her using a big electric buzz saw. The result was amazing with the board beneath the woman’s body was clearly cut into halves, but the woman remained unharmed.

Three famous illusionists performing in the 1900s in the USA were perhaps Howard Thurston, Harry Kellar and Harry Blackstone. Thurston fired a gun upon which an automobile on the stage disappeared. Kellar used to perform an illusion in which a cage having a live canary in it disappeared right in front of the audience, while Blackstone made a live camel vanished.


Magicians in the category of mentalists perform tricks of mind-reading and predict events that will take place in future. They sometimes call out the names of strangers in the audience and also reproduce designs drawn by spectators on a paper, sealed in envelopes. They are also able to write the exact total of numbers chosen by volunteers. A renowned American mentalist, Dunninger, apparently read the mind of an unknown person in a submerged submarine, in a television show.


Close-up tricks are performed by making spectators be near the magician, sometimes surrounding him/her or at a table just a little away. In close-up performance the magician works with cards, sponges, coins and other such small objects. E.g. magician Albert Goshman performed the trick of making a silver coin appear beneath a saltshaker, every time he lifted it. Another magician, Johnny Paul, used to borrow a currency note from a spectator and kept it at one end of a table, after which he made the note move over the table in his hand.


Some magicians are specialized in making seemingly impossible escape from various tight spots. Harry Houdini was the most renowned American escape magic performer who escaped through manacles, leg irons as well as locked prison cells. He even let himself be manacled and kept in a crate which was shut with nails and lowered in a river, after which he escaped in a few seconds.

If you want to perform wonderful magic tricks like these there are some nice sources available on internet, one of which is Dynamos magic revealed, where you can get a chance to learn numerous magic tricks. Who knows, one day you too will create some pages in the history of magic!

12 Easy magic tricks anyone can do!

A bit more practice needed for these magic tricks


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      lesliebyars 4 years ago

      Great magic article. I watched David Copperfields show on television one time and it was simply amazing.

    • profile image

      lesliebyars 4 years ago

      Great magic article. I watched David Copperfields show on television one time and it was simply amazing.