Magic itself has been referred to as far back in time as when people can remember. When looking at magic for entertainment purposes, it too has a history.

Going Back in History

This means making a trip back to the 17th century. This was a time where many books were created about the subject, and they were very popular. They mostly focused on magic tricks.

Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin

Jean created quite a stir when he opened his magic theatre. This took place in 1845 in Paris. While at the same time, John Henry Anderson was making a name for himself as a magician in London. John was more of a showman compared to Jean, so this allowed them both to offer something unique. Jean held the audience’s attention because many of his tricks focused on mechanical automation. He could make something look as though it was alive through movement. This mesmerized people in general.


Magic shows were just as much a part of carnivals as sideshows. Then they became part of the big theatre. They were a very popular form of entertainment.


Magic shows became a big hit for television as well. Since then, they have remained in popularity although there are not nearly as many television shows with this theme.

Magic Tricks

When looking back on the favourite magic tricks that mesmerized the audience, they were fairly basic. Yet, they are still performed today and are just as attention-grabbing. Of course, out of them all, it would be the rabbit in the hat.


With the number of magicians growing during the 18th century, it forced those who wanted to be recognized to advertise. They would concoct their own advertisements where they would perform a trick.

Types of Magic Shows

Historically there have been different types of magic shows that include:

  • State illusions
  • Parlor Magic
  • Closeup Magic

And several other variations.

Magic has stood the test of time.