Today is the birthday of the great sleight-of-hand master Nate Leipzig (Nathan Leipziger, 1873-1939), His illusions are still studied and taught all over the world; just Google him and see. He was born in Sweden and spent his early childhood there. When he was about ten the family moved to Detroit. Not until he was 30 did he quit his day job and move to New York to break into show business. For a time he worked with the Berol Brothers, and called himself Nate Berol. He broke in as a solo at Proctor’s 5th Avenue and then worked the Keith Circuit. He seems to have met and studied under every major magician of his time. His autobiography is available to read for free online (and it’s short). Just go here.
To find out more about magicians like Nat Leipzig and the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold.