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John Lawrence McKissock

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John Lawrence McKissock (1869-1964) took up magic as a hobby when he was 7 years old in his natal city, Pittsburgh, Pa.

John Lawrence McKissock
BornApril 27, 1869
Pittsburgh, Pa.
DiedApril 5, 1964 (age 94)

His brother, Albert, used to work with him, and they were with all kinds of shows including the old medicine type. John was one of the first to use the levitation of a girl in a cabinet, with his sister the subject because of her long hair. He played in schools and the old Madison Square Garden in New York City for two years. One of his pupils in Pittsburgh, Pa., was Louis (Silent Mora) McCord. A few years ago Mora wrote an article about McKissock that was in this magazine in which for example, Mora tells of John's first interest in magic was seeing a farmer open a pea pod, remove one, swallow it and reproduce it from his eye. He knew all the leading magicians and met them in his early life. He was an expert mechanic and created many mechanical magic effects, some in use today. His first magic lesson was the four balls under hats and finally producing a glass of beer or orange from under each hat. That was shown to him by John G. Scheidler of the old Barnum and Bailey Circus Side Show. He settled in Lake Worth, Florida in 1912 and opened a plumbing business. He was a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and always active in the work until illness forced him to retire from it. John Lawrence McKissock was a credit to magic. Walter J. Hayes provided the information of the death of a great gentleman. [1]


  1. Obituary John Lawrence McKissock in The Linking Ring, Vol. 44, No. 5, page 97