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BornWilliam Mozart Nicol
December 14, 1882
Burlington, Iowa
DiedFebruary 1, 1945 (age 62)
Monmouth, Illinois

Nicola (1882-1945) performed on vaudeville for a number of years and did several world tours with his illusion show as the Great Nicola. He traveled with his dad Nicoli and brother Von Arx.


Nicola started his career at the Omaha Exposition in 1900, and from there went to Paris for the French Exposition. He did performances at the Egyptian theater and on his return to the United States he started on the Lyceum circuit.

He made his first trip around he world in 1910. For a span of three years, he visited China, India, Egpyt, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. Nicola was touring in South America in 1913 at the outbreak of World War I.

The first of Nicola's major United States tours was made in 1926 during his second world tour.

During his last world tour in 1939, on outbreak of World War Two, the ship he was on hit a mine and sunk with all his equipment off Singapore. After his return home he built a new smaller show, suitable for auditoriums and hospitals, and offered his services free of charge to the USO.

Among the illusions Nicola was said to have created were the "Elastic Lady," "Aerial Fishing (actually created by Walter Mingus Hopler)," "Chinese Water Jar," and "Dream of the Chinese Chop Suey Restaurant Keeper".


  • Who's Who in Magic, Sphinx, March , 1933
  • Genii, Vol. 9, No. 4, December 1944, A GIANT AMONG MAGICIANS by JOHN BOOTH, page 132
  • Tops, Vol. 11, No. 3, March 1946, Will Nicola Dies, A Tribute by Percy Abbott, The Passing of a Great Magician, page 5
  • Abracadabra, Vol. 1, No. 9, March 1946, THE GREAT NICOLA December 14th, 1882 – February 1st, 1945, page 12
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 26, No. 1, March 1946, THE GREAT NICOLA DIES by J. Ray Beffel, page 20
  • Obit Genii 1946 March
  • Obituary, Bat No. 27, Arpil 1946, page 144.
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 33, No. 1, March 1953, The Great Nicola by C. Verne Bloch, page 26