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Jim Sherman

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Jim Sherman
BornSan Francisco, California

Jim Sherman ran the National Magic Shop in Chicago for many years. [1]

Born in San Francisco, his family moved to England for a few years, then to Virginia and from there to Appleton, Wisconsin. There he lived the life of a normal child until his father, whose business took him to Europe twice a year, began bringing him small magic tricks from Gamages and Hamley's Magic Shops in London. While in High School, he put together a little magic act and performed it in a Vaudeville show which the school produced. After graduating from High School he made my first professional appearance at the Bijou Theater in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He also became acquainted with Henry Bergman, a locksmith, who was a friend of Houdini.

For many years Sherman played the vaudeville theaters of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana. Bill Larsen Sr., who lived in Green Bay at that time, said Sherman was the first magician he had ever seen.

He eventually settled down in Chicago, playing club dates and the many small theaters. In 1908, he was a guest star on Houdini's full evening show at the Princess Theater in Chicago. Houdini introduced him as "the wittiest magician on the American stage today."

While serving his country in World War I, he organized a vaudeville show (there was no USO in those days) and we played the hospitals all over France.

In 1926, he leased space for a Gift Shop in the Arcade and had a counter devoted to magic. The business at this counter grew to such an extent that it took over a complete shop on the third floor which we opened under the name of the National Magic Company.[2]

Sherman was a stalwart in helping to build a foundation for the SAM Assembly No. 3 in Chicago. In his later years, he had been a California resident and member of SAM No. 907.[3]


  1. Obit, Genii 1971 October
  2. Cover, Genii 1962 January
  3. MUM May 1972