October 18 was the birthday of magician Charles Albert MacNicol (1871-1958), who billed himself variously as Von Arx, as well as The Great Chalbert and Chasan (i.e., Chas. A.N. — the initals of his given name). He was a third generation magician; he chose these various aliases to distance himself from his father Nicoli and his brother Nicola. In his last years he adroitly adapted his magic into a modern spook show of the type popularized by Silkini, El-Wyn and others, incorporating hokey horror, illusions, and ventriloquism.
To learn more about vaudeville, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous
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