The Great Raymond
Today is the birthday of The Great Raymond (Maurice Francois Sanders, 1877-1948). His magic career began as a child when he worked as an assistant to his uncle. At age ten he was performing on a trapeze and with horse in the ring at Adam Forepaugh’s circus. By 15 he was doing magic on his own. By 1902 he was performing escapology in Chicago in act somewhat derivative of Houdini. From here he toured the country with a show he described as “two thirds mystery, one third vaudeville”. He was tour the entire world with his large show of illusions no less than seven times.
To find out about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
For more on silent and slapstick comedy please check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc