Magic Man

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magic man-01.png

Magic Man

from 300.00

Richard Potter is credited as the first successful stage magician born in the United States and as the first black magician.

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Potter went to England around 1798. There is no record of his actual education. He returned to the United States around 1801, probably with John Rannie, a professional magician whom he started out working for as an assistant in 1802.

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One of The earliest records of Potter advertising a show was in Boston, November 2nd, 1811 at the Columbian Museum. He advertised his show as, "An Evening's Brush to Sweep Away Care, or a Medley to Please."

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Effects and show features that he performed included (from surviving printed Potter broadsides):

  • Frying Eggs in a Hat.
  • Rising Cards.
  • Breaking Borrowed Watches and Restoring them.
  • Handling and Swallowing Molten Lead.
  • Going into an oven with raw meat and remain until the meat was cooked.
  • Dancing on Eggs without breaking them.
  • Trouble Wit.
  • Shadow Puppets, with the play, The Broken Bridge.
  • Passing coins through a table.

 

Casual descriptions of some effects, written by people who may have never seen him perform include "Crawling through a Log" and the "Hindu Rope Trick". 

 

Potter could also throw his voice, especially using bird sounds, with great skill.

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His illusions never ceased to amaze. In one trick he climbed up a rope or an unraveled ball of yarn—outdoors and in front of onlookers—and appeared to vanish into the heavens. In another he crawled through a log that appeared hollow; on closer inspection, spectators found that it was solid.

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Print Sizes

(S): 8.5x11 in
(M) 24x36 in
(L) 30x40 in
(XL) 60x40 in

Printed on High Quality Archival Metallic Paper

Hand signed and numbered.

Ships within 14 days of purchase 

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