Magic is one the oldest performing arts and the very first performance supposedly took place in 2700 B.C. by a magician named Dedi, but there is no solid proof of that. For certain though, the first magic trick was the cups and balls trick. After that, magic was associated with witchcraft and the occult, so it was on the decline.
Joseph Pinetti was a well known 18th century magician and was the first to perform the thumb tie effect. In the 19th century, Jean Eugene-Robert-Houdin was considered the father of modern magic and moved street magic to the stage. After he died, Harry Houdini was born and became famous for being able to escape many seemingly impossible situations. He is perhaps the most well known magician in history. Other famous magicians include David Copperfield, Criss Angel, and David Blaine.
There are many magic tricks/illusions that have been performed throughout history and still are to this day, maybe with enhancements or improvements. One of the most famous acts is of production, such as pulling a rabbit from an empty hat or the magician making themselves suddenly appear in cloud of smoke. There’s also the opposite of production, which is to make things vanish, such as their assistant disappearing, a coin or something else. Another popular trick is restoring an item to its original shape after being destroyed or torn up, such a dollar bill or a rope. Levitating and escaping are also well known illusions.
Magic has been performed on stage in various venues, on the street, on tv, at children’s birthday parties, as well as other places. Some magicians have added a shock value, such as sword swallowing, while other have added comedy, like Penn & Teller.
Many books have been published on the art of magic and many well kept secrets on illusions have been exposed. Despite these things, magic will always be entertaining, even if it’s not real. There will always be new tricks magicians will come up with that will amaze us and make us wonder how it was done. We all love to be entertained in one way or another, and magic will always be fascinating.