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Wilt Geilen

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Wilt Geilen

Courtesy of the MZvD
BornWilhelm Heinrich Joseph Geilen
March 14, 1880
Cologne, Germany
DiedJune 9, 1974 (age 94)
Süderneuland near Norden, Ostfriesland, Germany
Wilt Geilen (1880-1974) was a professional magician performing vaudeville and full evening shows in Holland starting in 1900. Geilin toured Europe and England until 1960s as Professor Melachini, Melo Smith, and Dr. Caligari. [1]


His father was a post office employee of Dutch descent. His parents decided he would become a vicar, but at age of 14 he was interested in acting and magic. After performing a magic show his parents decided to put him into a monastery, and Geilen escaped from home. In Holland he found a job as a trapeze artist at Circus Pflöging.

In 1900 he left the circus and became a professional magician in Rotterdam. He specialized in sleight-of-hand and spiritualistic effects.[2]

In 1905 he presented in Holland the phonograph which were unknown at that time and also motion pictures with the cinematograph.

He toured Indonesia, Russia, Hungary and Austria in 1910 and after WW II he toured Germany and Holland.

Geilen became the first president of the Dutch Magic Circle founded 1922 at Rotterdam which he was until 1945.

Since 1964 Geilen was honorary member of the MZvD.

He died June 9, 1974 in Süderneuland near Norden, Ostfriesland.


  • "Prof. Melachini-Caligari alias Wilhelm Heinrich Joseph Geilen: geboren am 14. März 1880, gestorben am 9. Juni 1974" by Alfred Czernewitz (1992)


  1. Who's Who in Magic by Bart Whaley
  2. Who's Who in Magic, Sphinx, April, 1934