Thursday, March 3, 2011
Grave - The Great Wizard of the North
Born John Henry Anderson in 1814 in Scotland. He was known professionally as The Great Wizard of the North, though he began his performing career as 'The Caledonian Conjurer'. His early act seems to be very similar to that of Robert Houdin. The differences can be seen in some the trick titles. For example. Robert Houdin presented 'The Ethereal Suspension' and Anderson presented 'The Suspension Chloroforeene', same trick, different name.
Anderson is also credited as being the first magician to perform the Rabbit from the Hat trick. So we can all collectively thank or curse him for his contribution (just kidding, we won't curse him). Another feature of his performances was the death defying Bullet Catching feat, which has been known to kill it's practitioners. He left a lasting impression on the history of magic and for those audiences he performed for.
In 1909 Harry Houdini went to visit the grave of Anderson and found it in need of repair. He started a fund for it's repair. By 1930 it was again in need of repair and now apparently the authorities in Aberdeen Scotland treat the grave site as a very special place and it's also a tourist attraction.
John Henry Anderson died on February 3rd, 1874 at the young age of 60. He is buried in the churchyard at St. Nicholas Church in Aberdeen Scotland.