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Albert P. Smith

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Albert P. Smith
Borncirca 1878
DiedMay 16, 1957 (age 78)

Albert P. Smith (c.1878-1957) was a showman during the 1920s and 1930s as the Mysterious Smith.


Smith emigrated to the United States from France while a young boy. His name was Canter, but wanting an "American name" choosing Smith as it appeared to be the most typical.

Smith had highly successful years between 1894 and 1899 when the Spanish- American War broke out. He entered the service and spent two years in the Philippines.

In 1902 after getting out of the service, he began a tour around the world to Japan, China, across India and back to the Philippines.

After coming back to the United States, he played in moderate size towns for a week at a time. His publicity stunt was a coffin escape. He wife and chief assistant, as Madame Olga, did a mentalism act in the show.

By 1922 Smith was advertising as "The Show with the twenty-five year reputation. Mysterious Smith Company. With a carload of equipment and a large company of assistants." One of his featured publicity stunts was a combined straitjacket and coffin escape.

Smith retired around 1935 to become a photographer and sold his show to Howard Thurston's brother, Harry Thurston. He did perform again after retirement in Iowa with an act called "The White Prophet: Do Spirits Return?" which featured a Spirit Cabinet.

The Mysterious Smith's last performance was in Nashville, Tennessee in 1942. He had done in his lifetime 28,800 public performances in 42 states and traveled around the world twice. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida.[1][2][3]

There is a cover photo on Mahatma Vol. 02, No. 8 (February, 1899) for an "Albert E. Smith".


  1. Words about Wizards by Robert Parrish (1994)
  2. Linking Ring January 1949, page 39
  3. Magicol No. 89 (November 1988)