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Zanzic

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Zanzic

Zan-zic
BornHarry Robenstein
June 28, 1867
New Orleans, Louisiana

NationalityAmerican

Zanzic, also known as Zan-zic (in one case the same poster has both spellings) was a late 19th/early 20th century magician, known for his bad luck and bad judgment. Jim Steinmeyer states that "his real name was Robertstein or Brenner,"[1] while Hardin J. Burlingame says, "Another magician by the name of Robinson has been traveling in the Western States for the past few years, but is going under the professional name of Zanzic. Being a clever performer, it would seem he ought to have originated a more healthful-sounding name, which is 'sick'led o'er with a pale cast of thought.'"[2] The Billboard reported "His father was a Hebrew and his mother was a Creole (French and Spanish) fortune-teller."[3] Zanzic spoke English, French, Spanish, German, and Hebrew.

Biography

Zanzic performed as Zanzic, Zan-zic, Zan-Zig, and Henry Andre. During the Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893), under the name "Professor Slater," he set up a haunted house aided by fellow magicians Sam Bailey and William Robinson. This enterprise came to a bad end when a client died in compromising circumstances during the course of a séance.[4]

Later, Zanzic suffered injuries on stage -- the loss of his left eye and the forefinger of his left hand -- though descriptions of the exact circumstances of these accidents differ. According to The Showman, "Zanzic has had a couple of fingers blown off one hand, and an eye put out--premature explosion of a pistol while performing the bullet-catching feat. But still he follows the fascinating art of juggling, his first and perhaps his last love. Zanzic goes with Baldwin, the "White Mahatma," as a species of attendant Fakir, Bonze, Hoodoo Man, or whatever the fidus achates of an Oriental wonder-worker is called."[5]

According to The Billboard (1918) "he died in seclusion," but no date is given.



References

  1. Steinmeyer, Jim. The Glorious Deception. Carroll and Graf, 2005, pages 135-138
  2. Burlingame, Hardin J. Leaves from Conjurers' Scrap Books; Or, Modern Magicians and Their Works. Donohue, Henneberry & Co., 1891, page 20
  3. The Billboard, November 2, 1918, page 25. Magic & Magicians by William J. Hilliar
  4. Selzer, Adam. Mysterious Chicago: History at Its Coolest. Skyhorse, 2016, pages 76-80
  5. The Showman: An Illustrated Journal for Showmen and All Entertainers, Volumes 3-4, Sept. 20, 1901, page 31