Nevil Maskelyne (magician)

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This article is about the magician. For the astronomer, see Nevil Maskelyne.

Nevil Maskelyne (1863–1924) was a British magician and inventor.

Life and career[edit]

Maskelyne was born in 1863 to noted stage magician, J.N. Maskelyne. Following his father's death, he assumed control of Maskelyne's Ltd.[1] He continued his father's work at the Egyptian Hall in London. He also worked in the area of wireless telegraphy and was a competitor and public detractor of Guglielmo Marconi in the early days of radio (wireless). On one occasion he hacked into Marconi's demonstration of wireless telegraphy, and broadcast his own message, hoping to make Marconi's claims of "secure and private communication" appear foolish.[2][3]

Maskelyne was the father of Jasper Maskelyne, who continued the family tradition of professional magic.

He died in 1924.


Maskelyne wrote several books on magic, including Our Magic: The Art in Magic, the Theory of Magic, the Practice of Magic (with David Devant) and On the Performance of Magic.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Caveney, Mike (April 2007). "Classic Correspondence: J.N. Maskelyne to Charles Carter". Magic 16 (8): 18–20. 
  2. ^ Larson, Erik (2006). Thunderstruck. Crown. ISBN 1-4000-8066-5. 
  3. ^ Paul Marks (27 December 2011). "Dot-dash-diss: The gentleman hacker's 1903 lulz". New Scientist. Retrieved 28 December 2011.