Born December 6, 1805 in Blois, France, Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin performed with cutting-edge technology. One his most popular acts was “The Light and Heavy Chest”. The chest in question would be lifted up by his assistant, then…Ala-Kazaam… would become immovable.  A magician never reveals his secrets but, well, we ain’t magicians. Robert-Houdin used a magnet underneath the stage, which he turned on and off for the effect. In his words… “the phenomena of electromagnetism were wholly unknown to the general public. I took very good care not to enlighten my audience as to this marvel of science.”  You’ve been listening to “Tricks of the Trade” recorded by April Stevens, Henri Rene and his Orchestra.

Young magician Ehrich Weiss, after reading the master’s autobiography, assumed the stage name of…Harry Houdini.