Carl Hertz

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Carl Hertz (May 14, 1859 - March 20, 1924) was an American magician.


He was born Louis or Leib Morgenstein in San Francisco. After becoming proficient in the art of magic, he toured America, Europe and Australia, which he had first visited in 1892. He was one of several famous magicians who added films to their repertoires during the early years of cinematography.

He sailed from England on 28 March 1896 aboard the Royal Mail Ship RMS Norman and on the voyage exhibited Robert William Paul's Theatrograph to the passengers. He also showed films to his audiences in Australia and Johannesburg, South Africa.

After Australia he toured Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), India, China, Japan, the Fiji Islands and Hawaii as a magician employed by the Lumière Brothers.

Hertz was a debunker of mediumship and Spiritualism.[1] He appeared at the prosecution for the medium Swami Laura Horos trial in New York. Hertz helped send Horos to jail by duplicating in court the tricks she had used in her séances.[2]

He was known for his magical acts. His "Aerolithe" illusion, involved a girl dancing on air[3] - a court case was brought that accused him of stealing it from a German magician. "Phoenix" illusion. His wife entered a furnace and emerged unscathed.[4]

Known for the vanishing bird cage act. He was actually summoned to the British House of Commons on August 2, 1921 to prove that his act did not harm the birds. He performed the trick for them, then produced the unharmed bird.

He married Emilie D'Alton (b. 1945), a vocalist and his assistant. They had children. He published his autobiography in 1924, Modern Mystery Merchant; The Trials, Tricks and Travels of Carl Hertz, the Famous American Illusionist.


  1. ^ Elaine Hatfield and Richard Rapson. (2011). Flimflam Artists: True Tales of Cults, Crackpots, Cranks, Cretins, Crooks, Creeps, Con artists, and Charlatans. Xlibris, Corp. p. 81. ISBN 978-1465360298
  2. ^ Milbourne Christopher. (1969). Houdini: The Untold Story. Crowell. p. 160. ISBN 978-0891909811
  3. ^ Punch March 21, 1891, pg 141 [1]
  4. ^ Card Conjuring and Magic from 19th Century Until Today: Arranged, Updated and Rewritten by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon

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