A brief history of magic

We've all heard the term "magic" but what is it? A formal definition goes like this: Magic is the performance of illusions to entertain, baffle, and amaze! Learn the brief history of how magic became a popular modern phenomenon.

The purpose of magic is to give the illusion that the impossible or supernatural has been achieved.

Impossible becomes reality!

Although magic deals with the illusion of the supernatural, no ghostly beings or entities actually have any part in a magic act. Truly entertaining magic is always done by a skilled performer who knows how to use natural means to create the impression that something next to impossible has been done.

Early magic was frequently used for cheating in gambling games such as cards or in times of war like the use of the Trojan Horse. But during the 18th-century magic became less of a series of seemingly pointless deceptions and more of a respectable activity done by professional illusionists.

Images of magicians are depicted on the ancient Pyramids in Egypt. It's believed to be on the of the world's oldest artforms!

The earliest recorded modern practice of magic tricks was done by Jean Eugene Robert Houdin in the mid-1800s. In fact, many consider Houdin the father of modern magic. Houdin, originally a trained clock worker, switched to the practicing of magic when he opened a magic theatre in Paris in the 1840s. Houdini's special magic trick of the time was creating small mechanical pieces that seemed to move and act as if they were alive.

Watch: BBC History of Magic