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Max Holden

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Max Holden (August 20, 1884 - July 3, 1949) was born William Holden Maxwell in Glasgow, Scotland (although some references claim Boston). He spent much of his time as a boy traveling between New England and Scotland, accompanying his parents on junkets. He began as assistant to David Devant in 1901.

Max Holden
BornWilliam Holden Maxwell
August 20 1884
Glasgow, Scotland
DiedJuly 03 1949 (age 64)
CategoriesBooks by Max Holden

He enjoyed success in England before coming back to the United States to work in Vaudeville. He worked with wife as the team "Holden & Graham". His major act was a colored-light Shadowgraphy[1]

In 1914 Mr. Holden invented and patented a colored smoke picture trick called shadowgraphs, with which he toured Europe, Africa, Australia, the Par East and the United States as a headliner.

Holden spent his later life as a magic dealer, opening Max Holden Magic Shop in New York city (with branches in Boston and Philadelphia). He opened his first store in 1929 with support from Lewis Davenport.

He was a member of the London Inner Magic Circle, the Society of American Magicians, the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Magician's Guild .

Holden wrote a column which ran for several years in the Sphinx titled "Trouping Around In Magic".

Holden created the very popular Cross Cut Force. He also secretly helped Camel cigarettes with their series of magazine ads that explained magic tricks in 1933 under the tag line "It's Fun to Be Fooled, but It's More Fun to Know". It caused quite a scandal in the magic community, but no one found out Holden's involvement until after his death.[2]



  1. THE ART OF SHADOWGRAPH on Quick Change Artistry
  2. Knack Magic Tricks by Richard Kaufman, page 29
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