Fakir of Oolu
|Fakir of Oolu|
October 17, 1813
|Died||January 30, 1886 (age 72) |
Fakir of Oolu (1813-1886) was Alfred Sylvester, most known for presenting the Aerial Suspension illusion as an Indian mystic in turban and full robes, surrounded by a decorative Oriental set.
He also performed as "Hadji Mahommed Salib", but often referred to as more of a lecturer than a magician.
Sylvester began as an assistant to John Henry Pepper at the London Polytechnic, a venue for popular science exhibitions. The most popular of these exhibitions had been Pepper's Ghost. After leaving the Polytechnic, Sylvester presented an 'improvement' of Pepper's Ghost, which came to the notice of the original pantentees, and he had had to make a public apology in The Times.
Sylvester, moved to the United States where he improved the Aerial Suspension illusion, by being able to take away the last pole and worked it up into a complete show. He presented his act under the title of "The Denizen of the Air" and the "Last Link Severed." The act became a sensation at the Egyptian Hall.
In 1874, Sylvester created "The Talking Lion," an illusion based on the Sphinx principle and went to Australia with his show. He eventually died in Melbourne.
His son, Alfred Sylvester Jr., who assisted him, also went on to perform as the "Fakir of Oolu" throughout Australia and New Zealand, as well as his grandson (also named Aflred).