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John Nevil Maskelyne
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    (December 22, 1839-May 18, 1917)
    Born in Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom
    Partnered with George Cooke (1865-1905) and David Devant (1905-15)
    Long-term engagement at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London (1873-1904)
    First magician to levitate a woman (1904)
    Founding member of the Magic Circle (1905)
    He invented the pay toilet.
    He offered £500 for anyone who could determine how he performed an escape from a box. Two magicians who claimed to have figured it out sued when he failed to pay up. He lost after refusing to tell the court the secret of the escape.
    While mocking a supporter of spiritualism, Archdeacon Thomas Colley, he claimed that Colley's 'Archdeacon' title was bogus, leading to a libel suit that he lost (1906).
    He and Cooke first came to prominence by exposing two fraudulent spiritualists, the Davenport Brothers.
    He wrote 'Sharps and Flats,' an exposure of the secrets of cardsharps.
    He gave a Royal Command Performance for the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Credit: C. Fishel

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