|Born||March 26, 1861|
|Died||circa 1916 (age 55) |
Fred D. Jewett (1861-c.1916) was magician from Hartford, Connecticut that the Sphinx magazine proclaimed as was one of the rising generation of magicians of the twentieth century. He became quite popular as one of the primary magicians in New England.
As a small boy in Hartford, he gave entertainments of various kinds, continually growing in skill and popularity. He worked his way up to be well received in the finest theaters of New England. Known for his sleight of hand as well as larger illusions. He performed egg and coin tricks as well as duplicating the cabinet test of the English medium, Anna Eva Fay. His performances were elaborate, some of his own conceptions. Jewett looked the part of a magician with his lean features and pointed mustache. His best effect was his bullet catching trick wherein he caught bullets in his mouth fired from pistols held by members of the audience. He was also a composer of songs and quite a singer.
Jewett started out on one of the Vaudeville circuits. He did not start out well because of bad judgment he used in the selection of his program. For instance, he did the "Ball of Wool and Coin Trick". Not only was it too small a trick for the stage because the audience could not see it, but the unwinding of the big ball of wool took too long and the audience lost interest.
He moved to out San Francisco and by 1904 to Los Angeles, California. It was reported in Houdini's Conjurers Monthly Magazine August 1908, that he had not been very successful for he lost his expensive collection of apparatus.
By 1911, the Sphinx was reporting him playing small towns through the Western states, showing a few easy tricks.
The Sphinx of October, 1916 recorded his death in Chicago. A relative explained later in the Linking Ring 1936 that Jewett committed suicide.
Tricks of the Mediums (1873)
- Mahatma, May 1896, Vol 1, No 3. Cover
- Conjurers Monthly Magazine, August 1908
- Sphinx, October 1911
- Sphinx November 1911
- Sphinx, October, 1916
- Linking Ring, June 1936