Showing posts with label Compars Herrmann. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Compars Herrmann. Show all posts

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Magic Christian and His Crusade

I first heard the name Magic Christian many years ago when he appeared on the cover of Genii Magazine, November 1980. I was just a kid but I still recall reading about this interesting gentleman from Austria. His issue was filled with original magic that he created. I know I have seen articles on him in the years since as well.

A few years ago, I came across his name again when doing some research on Hofzinser. I would say that Magic Christian is the leading authority on Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser today. If you don't have his books on Hofzinser you are really missing out. He has a two volume set called Non Plus Ultra Volumes 1 and 2. Volume 1 is subtitled Magic of the 19th Century. Volume 2 is subtitled Hofzinser's Card ArtistryThey have been written, researched and compiled by Magic Christian. Volume 1 originally was published in German in 1998. The second Volume followed in German in 2004. They were translated into English in 2013 and these are the books I proudly own and am carefully reviewing.

I got to meet and talk with Magic Christian at this years Yankee Gathering and he told me that The Conjuring Arts Research Library is currently editing Volume 3 of the Hofzinser books! This is amazing news and I can't tell you how thrilled I was to learn that! I remember when I read the first two books that there was yet a third one out there, but it was in German I believe. Well, now its being translated! 
Besides his work on Hofzinser, Magic Christian is also working to get the grave of Compars Herrmann repaired. During the Yankee Gathering, he showed a short slide presentation of before and after photos of the grave site. The first photo, to the left,  is what the grave looked like around 1906. You'll note it has an iron fence around it, an ornate wreath and metal vines on the face of the stone and then a decorative firebowl at the top. I understand there were also rose bushes behind the grave itself.

Now, fast forward to around 1988 and you'll see the deterioration of the gravesite. Rust has overtaken the iron fence, and the ornate wreath and other decorative items on the grave were stripped off the grave during World War 2. Actually, there is another photo that Magic Christian sent me that shows the grave around 1988 and vines and leaves had totally overtaken most of the grave. So the photo below must be after some initial work on the grave.  

It's clear by the photos that the front of the fence, the gateway, is gone. And as I mentioned all the ornate decorative items on the tombstone are also gone.

In 2009, the Magic Club of Vienna and Magic Christian began plans and work to restore the grave. It appears the first thing they did was clean up the tombstone itself and clean up all the vines and such that had grown up around the grave.

Then they set about to restore the grave to the way it looked originally. The wreath and metal vines on the face of the grave were remade. Gold lettering was redone on the face of the tombstone and white lettering on the black plaque at the bottom part of the tombstone.

Next, it appears that they had the iron fence totally redone, along with the ornate gate at the very front.  The work they've done is remarkable. During this entire time they have raised funds from magicians and magic organizations to help pay for the restoration.

The only things left to do are to replace the firebowl at the top of the tombstone and replant the rose bushes behind the grave.  At the Yankee Gathering, Magic Christian took up a donation for the continued restoration. I wanted to include the information here in case anyone else wants to contribute. You will find that information underneath the next photograph. 
The tomb is situated in the Central Cemetery of Vienna in the old Jewish section
Group  6 – Row 29 – Tomb 38

Dear friends we hope that you will support this big project: Please send your donation to Magic Christian and the Magischer Klub Wien:

Bank: Postsparkasse PSK 60000
Account: Magischer Klub Wien
Number: 00002349219

IBAN: AT696000000002349219

And if you have other questions for Magic Christian, you can contact him through his website at All the grave photos here were provided by Magic Christian and used with his permission. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Grave of Compars Herrmann

photo courtesy Heinz König
I received the quite the surprise in my email today from Heinz König who found and photographed the grave of Compars Herrmann. I had a photo from the Sphinx magazine which showed the grave and location but now we have a full color image of what the grave site looks like today. Some of the decorative metal work is missing, and the names have been painted in with gold leaf recently. So I assume that there are repairs going on. Actually, if I'm not mistaken, Magic Christian was working to get the grave of Compars Herrmann repaired, so perhaps we are seeing the grave in transition. It does appear that the top of the structure is missing. There was a marble piece at the top in the shape of an urn or vase.

Also buried in this cemetery are fellow magicians Johann Hofzinser and Kratky Bashik.

Compars Herrmann -Born Jan 23, 1816 Died June 8, 1887
Wiener Zentralfriedhof (Vienna Central Cemetery)
: XI. Simmeringer Hauptstrasse 234, Vienna Austria
Section: T1 Group: 6 Row: 29 Grave: 38

 photo courtesy Heinz König

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Queen of Magic - Book Review

A while ago I mentioned that Margaret Steele had published the recently discovered memoirs of Adelaide Herrmann. But at the time I had not read the book. I was unaware that the book would be released not only in a hardbound edition but also in trade paperback version. This is exciting news because the book is much more affordable and easily accessible.

The bulk of this book (30 chapters) was written by Adelaide Herrmann. These were the Memoirs of her life with Alexander Herrmann and then her own career after he passed on. Sadly, she did not quite finish the book. She did complete the section on her life with Alexander but the part about her own career stops at a particular part which I plan to cover in a separate blog later.

Margarete Steele edited the book and then gathered additional information, such as all the articles that Adelaide ever wrote on magic and reprints of newspaper articles and similar articles of interest. There were no corrections in the language of the times, so there are occasions when Mrs. Herrmann was not politically correct by modern standards.

As to the content of the book, it is simply amazing. I've always enjoyed the brief biographies of the Herrmann's that appear in various magic books, but always yearned to know more. In this book, we learn that there was a rivalry between the two brothers Compars and Alexander and that they didn't speak for a period of time. I'm not sure still if they reconciled their differences. Adelaide implies they did but it's really tough to say.

One of the things I love about Alexander Herrmann was that he chose to a magician both on and off the stage. He was 'street magic' 100+ years before David Blaine and others were even born. He would cut open fruit to find coins inside while at a market. He would often produce a diamond ring from a biscuit or piece of bread, which had backfired on him on one occasion. A waitress took the ring and did not want to give it back! Alexander had to plead with the restaurant owner to retrieve his ring.

I was fascinated to learn that Alexander Herrmann was doing the 'muscle pass' with a coin as far back as the 1890s. For some reason I thought this effect was a bit more modern, but Adelaide properly describes his method for causing a coin to apparently float up from one hand to the other through the use of muscle control.

Adelaide doesn't go into specifics on the amount of money that Alexander made over the course of his lifetime but it had to be millions. He invested in theatres long before that kind of thing was popular. The Herrmanns you see were on the scene before Vaudeville came about. Herrmann's idea of buying theatrical properties and putting shows in them was just ahead of it's time.

Herrmann was also very generous and on more than one occasion took it upon himself to help pay expenses for other performing troupes. His generosity and his excessive spending had left them with very little money at the time that Herrmann passed away. It's clear that the hope was the restore their money by the end of their tour, however Alexander died midway.

In the book, The Illustrated History of Magic by Milbourne Christopher, there is a wonderful photo of Herrmann's house, known as Whitestone Manor on Long Island Sound. There is an even better photo of it in the book. It's a beautiful property but apparently, Herrmann only leased the property he did not actually own it.

Herrmann loved purchasing extravagent items like his  Herrmann Railcar. This train car was originally owned by actress Lily Langtry and Herrmann purchased it from her. The book contains photos of the interior and the exterior of the train car. As it turns out, Alexander Herrmann would die upon this train car in December 1896. They also owned a yacht which they called Fra Diavolo.

After her husband died, she went out on her own, first with her nephew Leon and then as a solo act. Apparently, she never spoke on stage, all of her work was done silently. She also incorporated special dances into her act as well. Her husband was known as an excellent sleight of hand artist and while he was alive Adelaide never ventured into that part of performing. But after he died, she began to learn and develop her own Billiard Ball Manipulation act, which takes a great deal of skill.

Adelaide and Alexander were remarkable people from a unique time in history. They were performing during the days of the Wild West right up until just before Vaudeville started. Eventually, Adelaide became a popular Vaudeville attraction in her own right.

This book is a must have for any magic historian or magic enthusiast. Margaret Steele has done a fine job which really feels like a labor of love from all parties involved. I saw the book listed on the Barnes & Noble website so it's even available to the general public which is exciting. For the price, you just can't beat it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Houdini & The Herrmann Connection

Houdini and Compars Herrmann
I had heard speculation that Houdini and the Herrmann Family (Compars and Alexander) were related but I always thought it was more of a myth. As it turns out, the Kalush biography does spell it out a bit more and explains they were first cousins through marriage. However, here is the family connection in Houdini's own words.

"Knew Blanche Corelli very well, and it may surprise you to know that my father's first wife
was a first cousin to Compars Herrmann's first wife. Rosa Csillag. My dear old Dad and Compars Herrmann were great companions and for business reasons have never given out the facts, because they might think that at one time I was seeking publicity."
The last line of this is priceless, Houdini fearing someone might think he was just out to seek publicity! lol. This is from a letter Houdini wrote to Frederick Eugene Powell.

In his day, Compars Herrmann was enormously successful in Europe and very well known. Compars had one child by the name of Maria Dorothea Herrmann. She was named after the daughter of the Belgian Archduke Josef Palatin and his wife whose name was Dorothea. Maria would grow up to become a fairly well known opera singer and change her name to Blanche Corelli. My article here centers on Herrmann's daughter, Houdini's cousin, Blanche Corelli. Incidentally, Blanche herself would often tell people that she and Houdini were related. To make it easy, I'll refer to Compars daughter from here on out by her stage name Blanche Corelli.

Compar's daughter
I honestly had never heard her name before. She is mentioned in a single sentence in the Herrmann biography by H. Burlingame. She does appear in a few magic periodicals, but again, mentioned briefly as attending German magic society meetings. I found her by stumbling upon an extremely interesting website devoted to a man named Hall Lippincott, If you've heard of the famous Lippincott Box which was created by Jack Lippincott, well Hall was Jack's first cousin. Hall's daughter Cindy put together an incredible website about her father and his exploits traveling around the world. The information was taken from her father's journals and from letters he had written. One of the people that Hall Lippincott encountered on his journey was Madam Blanche Corelli. Hall and Blanche exchanged so many letters that Cindy Lippincott created a separate site for Ms. Corelli.

Postcard showing the students of Blanche Corelli
It's hard to know where to begin. So let's just start with what I know. Blanche was born Feb 4, 1853 in Odessa Russia. She was the daughter of Compars Herrmann and his first wife Rose.  Rose Szchlig (as Houdini spelled it) sang in the Imperial Opera of Vienna, the proper spelling of her name is Rosa Csillag. Her daughter Blanche would follow in her mothers shoes and one day became an operetta vocalist.  One book I found says that 'Blanche Corelli' was actually a stage name and her real name was Blanche Crillae, though her actual real name was Maria Dorothea. She would one day live in America and have her own opera company. Eventually Blanche returned to Germany and started a family. She changed from singing in the opera to becoming one of the most well known and sought after music teachers in all of Germany.
An online search for Blanche Corelli brings up several pages where her name is mentioned either in conjunction with her Opera Company or as a music teacher. But the only place that I could find that really reveals who this woman really was is the site created by Cindy Lippincott.

Houdini was aware of the family connection and he knew and corresponded with Blanche. In one letter he wrote to Blanche he signs his name 'Harry Houdini-ski". In another letter he begins with "My Dear Dear Blanche Corelli, You note that I call  you dear dear, that means I want something from  you." which is a very funny line to start the letter.

Another line of interest reads "PLEASE dont refuse, for if you do, when I play a return to Berlin, I will tell Ike Rose." This line makes no sense to me today, so I tried to research who 'Ike Rose' was. Turns out there was an Ike Rose who managed a troupe of midgets. So I take it that the line was written in jest, again showing the friendly terms that Houdini and Blanche Corelli were on.

On a different note, I found the red/white/blue Houdini sticker at the top of the letter to be quite interesting. The very same sticker was placed over the back of the envelope that the letter was sent in. Take a closer look.

Getting back to Blanche, when she met Hall Lippincott she was 75 years old and living in Berlin. They stayed in touch through letters all the way into 1939. The letters are revealing in many ways. From a historical perspective, remember in 1933 Adolph Hitler became Chancellor of Germany and it was that same year that the first Concentration Camp was opened. But her letters describe the conditions in Germany as being bad as early as 1931.

It's clear that Blanche is not a wealthy woman and money is an issue at this time of her life. She tried unsuccessfully to obtain money from her fathers estate. When Adelaide Herrmann died Blanche tried to obtain something from her Aunt's Adelaide's estate. Blanche reveals that she was the one who kept after Alexander Herrmann, her Uncle, to marry Adelaide. Sadly, Adelaide gambled away her money and left pretty much nothing when she died. And to make matters worse, poor Blanche ended up getting into a battle of words with Herrmann family members here in the U.S..

What eventually happened to Blanche Corelli is unknown. Her last letter to Hall Lippincott was in 1939 when she would have been 86 years old. I can't help but hope she died quietly of old age in her home and not suffered the fate of many Jewish residents of Berlin Germany in the 1930s.

I have a personal interest in the Houdini/Herrmann connection, because I too have a Herrmann in my family tree. I've not been able to dig deep enough to discover if there is a connection to Compars & Alexander & Blanche, but even if there is, my connection is via marriage and regardless I would not be a blood relation only related through marriage.

If you'd like to read the letters that Compars Herrmann's daughter wrote you can read them by going to

I want to extend a huge thank you to Cindy Lippincott for letting me use the photos on this blog and for creating the site that records such incredible information about not only Blanche Corelli but also her father Hall Lippincott, one very amazing individual.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The MAGIC used by Civil War Magicians

After I completed my series on Magicians of the Civil War era, I noticed that many of them did the same tricks. I wanted to give you some highlights of the types of things that could be found in many of the acts of the Civil War era magicians.

The Spirit Cabinet
There is an interesting similarity among the magicians from the Civil War period. A commonality of effects if you will. In other words, they stole from each other back then as much as today. In fact, I noticed a trend among magicians to purposely steal certain routines and then 'expose them'. Specifically, the routines presented by the Davenport Brothers. Their creation, The Spirit Cabinet, along with their spirit manifestations, or fake spirit manifestations showed up in the acts of; John Henry Anderson, Samri Baldwin, Prof. Harry Cooke and many others. Interestingly, the Spirit Cabinet would continue in the years past the Civil War and become a popular feature with Thurston, Kellar, Carter, Willard, Blackstone, Calvert and many others. Today it is being revived once again by Michael Ammar and his wife Hannah, who is the daughter of Frances Willard, the daughter of magician Harry Willard.

Second Sight
Here is an effect from the repertoire of Robert Houdin. He presented this trick with his son. While blindfolded, his son Emile could identify objects that his father held up which were in full view of the audience but unseen by his son. This same routine somehow, mysteriously ended up in the show of Compars Herrmann, who presented it along with his younger brother Alexander. Other magicians took the same trick and began to alter and adapt it. Chief among them was probably Robert Heller.

Today, second sight demonstrations are a regular part of a mentalists performance and sometimes seen in magic acts. The Evanson's come to mind as an excellent example of a modern couple presenting the Second Sight Blindfold act.

The Gun Trick
A very popular effect was notorious The Gun Trick or Bullet Catching Trick. This effect was used by John Henry Anderson with great success until he sold it to Wyman the Wizard who also had a lot of luck with it. Signor Blitz used it, but he was not always so lucky.  In one particular instance an audience volunteer loaded a button in the hole of the rifle and when it was shot the button ripped through the skin of Blitz's hand. Several close calls like this were enough for him to eventually remove it from his act. After the Civil War Alexander Herrmann added the effect to his show, as did William Ellsworth Robinson. Mr. Robinson was better known as Chung Ling Soo and was also one of the many individuals who was killed on stage presenting the Bullet Catching Feat. Today, in the 21st Century the effect lives on in the act of Penn & Teller.

The Suspended Lady
This is Robert-Houdin's Ethereal Suspension. I believe the first pirated version shows up in the act of John Henry Anderson who called it 'The Suspension Chloriforeen'. He picked up his copy of the trick from a former mechanic who had worked for Robert Houdin. Compars Herrmann was also using the Suspension Illusion as well. For those newbies to magic, though the effect might seem like a levitation, it is not. In a levitation a person apparently rises in the air. In a suspension, they are held or suspended in space. Levitations and suspensions are similar enough and generally fall in the same category in magic.

The Suspended Lady illusion actually dates back to at least the 13th Century and possibly further. Today it's commonly known as the Broom Suspension and has been used by countless performers (including me). This effect appears in the Tony Curtis Houdini movie, however I am not sure if Houdini actually ever presented the effect in his show. Richiardi Jr. had one of the most incredible presentations of the trick. It also is a highlight of the Le Grand David Show in Beverly Mass.

The Inexhaustible Bottle
Now here is a fantastic trick. Actually, all of the things I've mentioned so far are great and you'll note that they all are still used in some fashion today. Thankfully, modern artists have altered them to fit the times, but why throw out a perfectly good trick? The Inexhaustible Bottle is an illusion where a glass bottle is filled with water and rinsed out. Then any liquid called for can be poured from the bottle, typically alcoholic drinks. According to Houdini, the trick dates back to 1635 and an effect called the Inexhaustible Barrel. Basically it's the same effect but using a wooden whiskey barrel. Robert-Houdin claimed to have invented it and as has been seen before this effect showed up in the acts of many other performers. One in particular Compars Herrmann who used it during his show at the White House before President and Mrs. Lincoln and their guests.

David Devant, the great English conjurer updated the effect by using a tea kettle rather than a bottle. Later, Charles Hoffmann created an entire act around the effect and he became known as "Think A Drink Hoffmann". Today, the effect, in it's Tea Kettle form, lives on in the act of Steve Cohen, The Millionaire's Magician.

Other Staples
It will come as no surprise that the following effects could be found within the repertiore of Civil War magicians: The Cups and Balls, The Sucker Die Box, The Devils Hank/Napkin, Passe Passe Bottles, Flower Productions/Botania, The Genii Tube/Cornucopia, Early Versions of the Misers Dream in various forms, Rising Cards, Handkerchief productions/vanishes, Flag productions and more.

Ventriloquism & other variety arts & acts
While not magic, ventriloquism was a popular addition to many magicians acts from the Civil War era. Among the practitioners of this craft were Signor Blitz, Wyman the Wizard, Fred Bearns and others. Robert Heller added Punch and Judy shows to his repertoire. Blitz had trained birds. Robert Heller was a trained pianist and he added musical numbers in his show which gave it an elegance and sophistication that other acts lacked. Adding variety and skill sets beyond that of magic gave the Civil War era performers broader appeal. The tradition of adding other variety art forms to ones act continues today, though ventriloquism is rarely found in the acts of well known magicians. Rather, good ventriloquists have established their own shows minus any connection to magic.

Basically, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Well, in magic, they don't seem to change too much. Another way of looking at it is good magicians recognize quality effects and keep them! But I can't help but wonder, how many effects have fallen out of favor over the years which could be brought back, updated and still fool modern audiences?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Civil War Era Magicians Part 5

John Wyman Jr.
Our next magician who conjured in America during the Civil War seems as though he deserves a bigger place in the annals of conjuring than he has. His name was John W. Wyman Jr. and he performed professionally as Wyman The Wizard. He was born in 1816 in Albany NY and according to several magic history books, he was the most successful magician of his time from a financial perspective. I think that Signor Blitz would take the honor of being the most well known of that time, especially with his dozen + imitators. Though a number of newspapers dispute that fact and say that Wyman was THE most popular. Either way Wyman apparently made the most money, and unlike Blitz, Herrmann, Anderson, Heller and others he was American born!

He had the honor of having performed for President Abraham Lincoln four times. Apparently Mr. Lincoln was a big fan of magic as he had seen, Blitz, Compars Herrmann and now Wyman the Wizard! David Copperfield has in his museum, the very coins that Wyman the Wizard used to pass through the hands of Abraham Lincoln during one of his performances before the President. Wyman lived on 6th St in Washington D.C. for a period of time. And his regular performance spot was a place called The Odd Fellows Hall, which was located at 419 7th St N.W Washington, almost exactly half way between the Capital Building and The White House. I assume that his close proximity to the White House and his celebrity status helped him obtain his numerous appearances before not just President Lincoln, but also President Martin Van Buren and President Millard Fillmore.

Odd Fellows Hall in Washington D.C.
According to Houdini, Wyman had one particular attribute that made him popular, he was honest! This is an important fact to remember because Wyman presented what were called 'Gift Shows'. Basically, all the tickets that were sold to his shows had numbers on them and every ticket received a prize depending upon the number. Wyman apparently gave out some really good quality items, among them, watches, table sets, family bibles, silver plated ware and more.

I can't find any record of Wyman having performed for the soldiers during the Civil War, but four performances for the Commander in Chief are enough to put him in this category as a Civil War Era Magician. He very likely performed for members of the military and their families at some point. Prior to the war he was a popular attraction in the Southern States and even out west on Mississippi River Boats.

Like several of his fellow conjurers of the time, one of the features of his act was 'The Gun Trick'. What made his Gun Trick special is that he bought it from John Henry Anderson. He apparently also purchased Anderson's Floating Lady which was a pirated version of Robert-Houdin's Etherial Suspension. Besides magic, Wyman also was an accomplished ventriloquist and mimic and even presented automatons.

The American Civil War began in 1861, but also in 1861 there was almost a Magical Civil War between Wyman the Wizard and Compars Herrmann. This Civil War being started in the press with a challenge from Wyman to Compars Herrmann. In the challenge, Wyman disputed the claims of Herrmann to be performing 'original material' and offered the sum of $25,000 to the winner of a magical duel. Ten of his best tricks would be performed by Herrmann, and ten of Herrmann's best tricks would be performed by Wyman. The challenge would be public and the winner would get all the money plus the box office receipts. The outcome of the Magical Civil War? It never happened because Herrmann ignored Wyman completely.

Besides living in Washington D.C., Wyman also lived in Philadelphia and eventually purchased quite a bit of property in Burlington NJ where he retired. He died in Burlington and was buried in Fall River, MA. in 1881 (the hunt is on to find his grave!)

One interesting historical note, Wyman kept a scrapbook of his career. After Wyman's death this scrapbook was sent to George M. Cohan who claims he never received it. So this very valuable historical item was 'lost in the mail'. I can't help but wonder if it has ever turned up?

NEXT: Horatio Cooke, Civil War Era Magician

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Civil War Era Magicians Part 3

In part 1 of this series, I told you about John Henry Anderson, The Great Wizard of the North who was actually Scottish. He was one of the early performers to present the Rabbit from Hat Trick. Anderson went into debt during the Civil War because he was unable to pull in the attendance needed for his shows. After a difficult run-in with the people of Richmond VA who didn't take too kindly to his title, "The Great Wizard of the NORTH" he stayed mostly in the Northern States and catered to Northern Audiences.

Next was a true southerner, William Augustus Reich, better known as Guss Rich, The Wizard of The Blue Ridge. Gus played drums in the 26th North Carolina Regimental Band and thus was part of the Confederate Army. His performances outside of his regular duties raised money for the Confederate Soldiers. He survived the war and lived a long life.

This time we visit another European who happened to be touring the United States just as the Civil War broke out. This person was Compars Herrmann, the elder brother of Alexander Herrmann. Compars was very well known all over Europe for his special brand of conjuring. In 1861, he came to America and began to perform in New Orleans. As the Civil War broke out Compars headed north to New York.

Unlike his competitor, John Henry Anderson who struggled during the War to bring in crowds, Compars was setting attendance records. Interestingly, both John Henry Anderson and Compars Herrmann used pirated Robert-Houdin props in their show. However, Compars had a huge advantage over Anderson in that he was also adept at sleight of hand. This ability set him apart from his competition and made him a must-see attraction.

In November of 1861, Compars Herrmann was in the Nations Capital to perform. The National Republican Newspaper wrote this about his performance, "This extraordinary magician gave his first entertainment in this city at the Theatre, last evening. The house was crowded to repletion by a large and fashionable audience. Mr. Herrmann in his performances fully realized all the wonderful things that have been said about him, and left the impression upon the minds of the audience that they had seen "Old Nick" himself." (Old Nick was another name for The Devil)

East Room of the White House in the 1800s
During his stay in Washington D.C., Compars Herrmann was invited to perform at the White House for President Abraham Lincoln and his invited guests. This took place in the East Room of the White House where many celebrities have performed over the years. At one point during his show, Herrmann handed a deck of cards to President Lincoln asking the President to shuffle the cards. President Lincoln handed the cards to his Secretary of War and said "This man shuffles the cards for me at present".

Compars Herrmann's assistant during this engagement was his 18 year old younger brother Alexander. Together they presented 'The Second Sight Routine' no doubt just like Robert-Houdin and his son Emile used to present.

In 1862, Alexander Herrmann went off on his own to perform and Compars remained.  Compars performed throughout the Northern States during the Civil War and in 1863 he left America and headed to England. It seems that Alexander didn't come back to America until 1869, after the Civil War had ended.

NEXT: Signor Blitz Another Civil War Era Magician.