was born in 1861
father was a merchant of shoes father was a merchant of shoes merchant of shoes from agra..a successful merchant of shoes with three pretty daughters, and a sadness about his visage. a wife wo smiles cheerily as mothers of the brides always must, bride's mother's mask. a merchant of shoes.. how do shoes make big profits? how do shoe selers become rich?? went to ecole des beaux arts- stage design and puppetry shoe design? went to england to learn english. 1884. to take over family business saw stage conjuring Maskelyne and Cooke took over family business. bought theatre robert houdin when it was sold in 1888
could draw well?
Saw a show by the theatre Robert Houdin at the age of..?
While on military posting later, was posted in the same suburb as Robert Houdin( different from Harry Houdini)
1890, Albert Hopkins' Manual Magic
note- the skeletal frame of ravan before he burns
Robert Houdin watchmaker turned illusionist..
In the year 1843 there was situated in the Rue du Temple, Paris, a little shop, over the door of which was displayed the unpretentious sign, " ]\I. Robert-Houdin, Pendules de Precision." It was the shop of a watchmaker and constructor of mechanical toys. The proprietor was destined to be the greatest and most original fantaisiste of his time, perhaps of all times, the founder of a new and unique school of conjuring, and the inventor of some marvelous illusions. No one who stopped at the unpretentious place could have prophesied that the keen-eyed little Frenchman, in his long blouse be- smeared with oil and iron filings, would become the premier prestidigitateur of France, the inventor of the electrical bell, improver of the electrical clock, author, and ambassador to the Arabs of Algeria. During his spare moments Houdin constructed the ingenious automata that subsequently figured in his famous Soirees Fantastiqiies. When Re went abroad on business or for pleas- ure he wore the large paletot of the period and practiced juggling with cards and coins in the capacious pockets. From A Hopkins' 1896 book on Magic [http://www.archive.org/stream/magicstageillusi00hopk/magicstageillusi00hopk_djvu.txt