Today is the birthday of Giovanni Bartolomeo Bosco (1793-1863). Bosco was a magician so popular and influential that many others later appropriated his name. He is mostly commonly mentioned in connection with the Cups and Balls routine, and for seeming to be able to switch the heads of live birds. A native of Turin, he served in the Napoleonic wars, briefly studied medicine and then embarked on his magic career which took the courts of the rulers of Russia, France, Prussia and Sweden.
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.
Don’t miss 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