In 2006, the Magic Castle’s Milt Larson named the top ten magicians of all time in a story that ran in Variety. In his list, Larson identified, in his opinion, the finest magicians of the twentieth century. His list inspired us to come up with the top ten magicians of our time.
The belief in magic and magical powers dates back to the earliest recorded history. In Egypt, for example, large number of magical papyri, in Greek, Coptic, and Demotic, have been recovered. These sources contain early instances of much of the magical lore that later became part of Western cultural expectations about the practice of magic, especially ceremonial magic.
The Society of American Magicians, founded on May 10, 1902, in Martinka’s famous magic shop in New York City, New York, is the oldest and most prestigious magical society in the world. For over a century it has promoted the ideals shared by Kellar, Houdini, Thurston and more than 50,000 others world-wide who have held membership in the society. Those ideals include the elevation of the Art of Magic, the promotion of harmony among magicians, and the opposition of the unnecessary public exposure of magical effects.
The International Brotherhood of Magicians had very humble beginnings. It started as a letter-writing exchange between three young men who shared a common interest, a love for the art of magic. M.J.G. McMullen of Canada, and Gordon Avery of Buffalo, New York began writing to each other about magic in 1922. A few months later a third young man joined in the correspondence campaign. His name was Ernest Schieldge.