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J. H. Wessling

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J. H. Wessling

Cover of Sphinx (Jan 1906)
Cincinnati, Ohio

J. H. Wessling (1826-1902) was an old time magician of considerable local repute in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.


He came to the United States from Germany when he was about 11 years old. As an expert self-taught mechanic he constructed all his own apparatus.

Wessling made and exhibited the first electric arc lamp operated in the United States, for which he was awarded the first medal at the Cincinnati Exposition in 1874. He held the post of chemist at the Cincinnati "Mechanics" Institute, and later at the Medical College.

His love for mechanics was also shown in his constructions of automata and marionettes.[1]


  1. Sphinx, January 1906