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Joseph Michael Hartz

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Joseph Michael Hartz
BornJoseph Michael Hartz
August 10, 1836
Liverpool, England
DiedJune 29, 1903 (age 66)
London, England
Resting placeTooting Cemetary
CategoriesBooks by Joseph Michael Hartz

Joseph Michael Hartz (1836-1903) was a pioneer Vaudeville performer.


By eighteen, Hartz was performing a full-evening show in London. He conceived the idea of constructing his props of glass and began presenting what he called "Crystal Magic", which included the "Crystal Pillar and Glove", the "Aerial Bell", and the "Incomparable Canary and Birdcage".

In 1866, Hartz, with his brother Augustus, went to the United States. After years of performing, he opened up a magic store around 1870 called "Magical Repository" in New York with his brother, supplying equipment to magicians. This was possibly the first American magic shop.

Hartz sold his business in 1876 in order to return to the stage. In the 1890s, he developed an eighteen minute act for vaudeville called "The Devil of a Hat". From a borrowed hat, he produced numerous items including a bowl of water and goldfish.

Hartz married an American girl and in 1881 returned back to England where he performed for twenty more years. He died in London.



  • 'Recollections of Hartz the Wizard' in Hoffmann's Later Magic (1911 expanded edition)
  • 'Recollections of Hartz' in Hoffmann's Magical Tidbits (1911)
  • The Wizard (Selbit), Vol. 01, 1905, page 139.
  • The Linking Ring, May, 1930 cover
  • THE HARTZ BROTHERS AND AMERICA'S FIRST MAGIC SHOP by Bill Weldon in The Linking Ring, June, 1997.