The Magic of Louis Haselmayer
Long a nation of scholars, musicians, writers, and patrons of the arts, Austria not only developed a rich culture; it has also produced a number of very fine magicians. Perhaps a lesser known but nevertheless skillful performer in the history of magic was Louis Haselmayer, born in Vienna on September 18, 1838. He was orphaned at age 7 but an uncle saw to his careful education by attending the ‘Realschulle’ where young Louis distinguished himself in physics, chemistry, and drawing. He showed an aptitude for things mechanical from an early age and later trained as a mechanic. His training led to a position with the Imperial Royal Telegraph in Vienna. He also had a great talent for music and studied piano and other instruments at the Vienna Academy of Music. With many magicians constantly visiting Vienna, Haselmayer developed a deep interest in magic and while still a student, built a number of pieces of magical apparatus. By age 18 he was giving regular magic performances for Viennese society and even performed for Emperor Franz Joseph. It was the grand master magician Dr Johann Hofzinzer who gave Hasselmayer the final polish.