Houdin, Jean Eugne Robert

Houdin, Jean Eugne Robert or Jean Eugne Robert-HoudinzhN zh?n r?b?r o?od?N [key], 1805?71, French conjurer and magician. Originally a clockmaker, he was celebrated for his optical illusions and mechanical devices and for his attributing his magic to natural instead of supernatural means. Houdin was the first to use electromagnetism for his effects. He wrote an autobiography (1857) and Secrets of Prestidigitation and Magic (1868). Harry Houdini, who named himself for Houdin, wrote The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin (1908).

See H. R. Evans, The Master of Modern Magic (1932).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Theater: Biographies