Origin of the Magic Wand?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Antonio Diavolo, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. So everyone knows the design of standard stage magician's wand: Black with white tips.
    Often the color of the body and tips are changed but the general design is the same.

    I tried to look into this but couldn't find very much. What's the origin of this style of magic wand? Is there any significance to the design of a solid colored shaft with different colored tips?

    Edit: Nevermind. I changed my search terms and found out that, like many other traditional magician characteristics, it can be traced to Robert Houdin.
  2. Robert Houdin took credit for the styles of magic performance that were popular at his time. His book was very influential so we give him way more credit than he probably deserves.

    Guys like Alexander Hermann and his family were more instrumental in magician's style. When you look at the costumes and performance styles of John Neville Maskelynne and especially David Devant you see that Robert Houdin was less of an innovator and more of a product of his time. Houdin gets the credit because he was a writer. He wrote a popular book about the life of a magician. Much of which was fabricated or exaggerated by those who idolized him.

    The coats and tails version of the magician is a characature of Hermann. He had the mustache, the top hat, and he used a cane on stage. That's where the design of the wand design comes from. It began as a cane, and slowly shrunk over the years to accomodate the magician's needs. For instance, it was common practice to use a stick in the cups and balls (or the cups and cone) this stick eventually started to look more and more like a cane.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  3. Reading Lamont and Steinmeyer much?

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