Alex Linton, Prince of Swords

Alexander P. Linton (1904-1972) was born in Roscommon Ireland, and had immigrated to New York by the 1920s, when he began performing as a magician in the Bowery, at Huber’s Museum, and numerous circuses. By the ’30s he had specialized in sword swallowing, a skill he claimed was taught to him by his father. Linton once held the Guinness Record for swallowing four 27 inch blades at the same time. He was also heavily tattooed, a kind of secondary aspect of his attraction. He is believed to have mentored only two younger performers: Bobby Reynolds and Captain Don Leslie.

To learn more about the history of variety entertainment, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous,