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Alexander Victor

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Alexander Victor
BornJune 20, 1878
Bollnas, Sweden

Alexander Victor (1878-1961), born in Bollnas, Sweden was a magician, inventor and motion picture pioneer.


In 1894 Victor saw his first magic show and soon joined "The Great Stephanio." The next year, while traveling in Paris with Stephanio, Victor saw his first motion picture (a Lumière Cinématographe presentation) and was enthralled. Lumières Frères sold him a Cinématographe and moving pictures were incorporated into the magic show. It allowed the show to continue after Stephanio’s death in 1895. He successfully carried on the show, as 'The Boy Wonder of Magic and Illusion' and later as 'Alexander the Great'.

Victor traveled to India with the magic show, thus becoming the first to bring motion pictures to that country. Victor stayed in India for three years, becoming an accomplished magician.

Victor then went to the United States and in the summer of 1897 Victor rented a vacant shop store in Newark, New Jersey. There he showed films on an Edison Projecting Kinetoscope plus live music from Bowman's Military Band. Victor continued to work in show business until 1908 when a fire in a Toledo, Ohio warehouse destroyed all of his magical paraphernalia.

Victor eventually moved to Davenport, Iowa where he invented the first electric washing machine for the White Lily Company. His love for film also pushed him to invent an amateur Motion Picture Camera and Projector (also known as the Animatograph). In 1917 he designed and built the portable Victor Safety Cinema. In 1923 Kodak announced the 16 mm film standard, and Victor immediately designed and marketed a camera and projector, helping create the mass market for educational, industrial and religious film-users. Victor 16 mm equipment was highly successful into the sound-film era and post-war years.