The Magic of Cardini
In this week’s History of Magic, we discuss the life of renowned magician Cardini, who in 1958 was proclaimed by the New England Magic Society as “the greatest exponent of pure sleight of hand the world has even known.” Cardini was born Richard Valentine Thomas on 24th November 1895, in the small mining district of Mumbles in Wales. As a youngster, Cardini was influenced by people like Chung Ling Soo, Nate Leipzeig, and the Great LaFayette. When he was a young man, he joined the British Army in WW1, where he fought in the trenches until he was wounded. He practiced his sleight of hand in the freezing trenches wearing gloves that were to later become an integral part of his act, and he continued to practice his sleight of hand diligently while recuperating at the hospital.