Help us get to over 4,000 biographies in 2018.

If you know of a past magician not listed in MagicPedia, start a New Biography for them or Email us your suggestion.

William A. Russell

From Magicpedia, the free online encyclopedia for magicians by magicians.
Jump to: navigation, search
William A. Russell
BornWilliam A. Russell
January 21, 1880
Batavia, New York
DiedDecember 6, 1966 (age 86)
Batavia, New York

William "Billy" A. Russell (1880-1966) was a magician, craftsman and inventor. He made props for many top magicians, including a Milk Can for Houdini's Giant Milk Can Escape.


Russell performed the Northeast of the United States with his own magic show "Russell's Magic Circus" and had worked in vaudeville for many years.

He would later also devise Houdini's escape from a Paper Bag (without damaging the bag).

Joining the I.B.M. with number 301, he was chairman of the 1934 IBM convention held in his hometown of Batavia.[1]

Over the years he has contributed entire Parades and tricks to The Linking Ring. He won the Sphinx Award in 1951, in the Stage Effect classification, for his effect "The Russell Silk Production," described on page 121 of the August 1950 issue of Sphinx.

Late in life he took up art and served as president of the Batavia Society of Artists. He retired in 1963 from active public performances after a 70-year career when a partial stroke impaired his activities.[2]


  1. Billy Russell to Harry Cecil by Mike Caveney, Magic, November 2010
  2. Obit, Linking Ring, January 1967