The Forgotten Family

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby magichand » 02/28/06 08:41 AM

Hi Everyone,

My english isn't 100%perfect. I live in Canada but originally I'm from Hungary Budapest. I met a Hungarian person on the net and he claimed he had a forgotten family (magicians). This three generation (Vanek) family were magicians. The great grandpa started to perform about 1845-1850.(before Houdini born). Later he was performing with his son. Mostly he performed in Europe but he was performing in the States from 1872-1878. After he retired his son was a performer for a while and later his grandson was performing until about 1970-1975. The grandson had a stepson who is asking me to help him. Even his mom was a magician. He doesn't speak any english.He would like to see that today magicians can read about his family in the magic history books or magazines and not forgotten. His great grandpa was all around the world and yes once he was one of the greatest. He has a lot of proof (pictures,posters even newspaper wrote about him, etc). He sent me already some copy from the documents. He said he will send me a lot more. I searched here in the Caf before but never ever was mentioned this family name. All I found a couple words in the T.A Waters Encyclopediea of magic and magicians and only from the oldest family member.

I want to help this person and make him happy before he pass away. Who should I contact here and what is his/her email address? Can some one help me?

Thanks

My email address is: laci200@yahoo.com

Best

Las
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Postby Gord » 02/28/06 09:13 AM

Las

I found info about a magician named Vanek in the book The Great Illusionists by Edwin A. Dawes (pgs. 90-92).
I have sent you scans of those pages. I hope they help.

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Postby Edwin Corrie » 02/28/06 03:25 PM

I don't know if it will help much, but I found this page with a link to something about Vanek:

http://buvesz.lap.hu/

Also this, which says that David Copperfield has some items relating to him in his private museum:

http://www.dirac.es/sei/noticias/noti9818.htm
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Postby magichand » 02/28/06 07:17 PM

Thanks all of your help. Most information about the oldest Vanek and not much about next generations and even the old articles have lots of mistakes. I would like if someone publish again in the magic magazines or in books the whole story about this family not just the oldest. So today magicians can read about them. That would make the stepson very happy.

I know about the Hungarian website. The stepson did for his stepfather 100 years aniversary. I told him make the website english language too so people can read it. He'll do it as soon as possible.

Las
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Postby Jerry Harrell » 03/01/06 05:57 AM

Bart Whaley's Who's Who mentions only the grandfather, who certainly toured widely:

Vanek, Professor Joseph (Budapest, Hungary: 31 Jul 1818-11 Dec 1889) Pro magician (& professor of science at the Pester Seminar) since 1843. Toured Turkey, Greece, France, England, Hungary, India, Japan, USA.
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Postby magichand » 03/01/06 08:56 AM

Thanks Jerry
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Postby Guest » 03/01/06 01:23 PM

It may be simply that the fruit doesn't far fall from the tree but it often rolls quite a distance. The grandfather may have been a noted magician, the others less so but trying to carry on the work the grandfather did. I can think of one significant magician who's son didn't quite meet the same grade.
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Postby Reinhard Mueller » 03/03/06 03:27 PM

I found the following:
In Gisela und Dietmar Winkler: DAS GOSSE HOKUSPOKUS - Aus dem Leben berhmter Magier (from the life of famous magicians), Berlin 1981, pp. 528 - 529 : "Professor Vanek - Josef Vaneck ( 31.7.1818 Pest - 11.9.1899 Budapest" an article with a picture.

--and the following section is from Dr. Volkmann's History of Magic:
Da J o s e p h V a n e k sich als Zauberknstler bettigte, ist eine jener Seltsamkeiten, die das Schicksal in seiner Laune verhngt 4). Er kam nach Verlassen der Schule als Hilfsarbeiter zu Prof. Jedlik, der damals den Lehrstuhl der Physik am Pester Seminar innehatte. Man schickte ihn zu den Chemischen Werken nach Warm- brunn in Deutschland, um dort Untersuchungen durchzufhren. Als er nach Budapest zurckkehrte, wurde er 1843 zum Professor der Physik ernannt. 1848 machte ihn Kossuth zum Leiter der Staatsdruckerei des ungarischen Finanzministeriums. Als Kossuth nach seinem unglcklichen Befreiungskampf fliehen mu-te, begleitete ihn Vanek in die Trkei. Er hatte sich schon als Student mit Zauberkunststcken befat und um 1843 fr Bosco, mit dem er bekannt wurde, nach seinen eigenen Plnen einige Gerte gefertigt 5). Bald nach seiner Ankunft in Konstantinopel konnte er infolge seiner Verbindungen vor dem Sultan Abdul Megid auftre-ten. Gut belohnt und mit Empfehlungsschreiben ausgerstet trat er eine Reise nach dem Osten an, die ihn von Kairo ber Palstina, Persien, Kalkutta bis nach China und Japan fhrte. 1851 lie er, wahrscheinlich als ei-ner der ersten, ein Pferd mittels eines schwarzen Hintergrundes auf offener Bhne verschwinden 6). Als er nach Europa zurckgekehrt war, spielte er vor Napoleon III. und 1854 vor der Knigin Viktoria von England in Schlo Windsor. Eine Straffreiheit, die die ungarische Regierung den Umstrzlern gewhrte, gestattete ihm, in seine Heimat zurckzukehren. Er bereiste 1855 viele ungarische und sterreichische Stdte. Dann lockte ihn wieder der Osten, wo er viele Jahre verbrachte. Seine Hauptdarbietung war das Enthauptungs-kunststck, wobei zum Schlu das abgeschlagene Haupt bluttriefend und anscheinend mit noch warmer Haut auf einem Untersatz in den Zuschauerraum getragen wurde 7). Er erzielte das durch eine chemisch hergestell-te Masse, 1873 gab er in den Vereinigten Staaten Vorfhrungen 8). 1874 war er in Japan, von wo aus er den fernen Osten durchzog. Die Einzelheiten hat Ottokar Fischer in einem reizvollen Aufsatz zusammengetragen. In Indien spielte er zuletzt am 21. Mrz 1878 in der College Hall in Madras, von wo er nach Ungarn zurck-reiste. Nach einer Abschiedsvorstellung am 12. Oktober 1878 in Budapest setzte er sich als vermgender Mann zur Ruhe. Er wurde Eigentmer eines bekannten Budapester Kaffeehauses und verkaufte Kunsterzeug-nisse aus dem Osten, hielt aber nebenbei auch wissenschaftliche Vorlesungen. Mit 71 Jahren starb er am 11. September 1889 in seiner Vaterstadt, beweint von seinen Freunden, die sich wie die Musiker in Haydns Ab-schiedssymphonie von ihm hinwegstahlen. Sein Sohn Josef Vanek, der jahrelang in Budapest im Vanekschen Uraniatheater Nebelbilder vorfhrte, starb als 76jhriger im Jahre 1922.

Reinhard
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Postby magichand » 03/04/06 01:26 PM

Thank you very much Renhard
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Postby magichand » 03/06/06 09:03 AM

Edwin,
Do you know what items related to Vanek in the Copperfield museum?

Thanks for your answer.

Las
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Postby Edwin Corrie » 03/06/06 12:47 PM

Sorry, but the only information I have is what is on that web page. I did manage to find another page that says exactly the same thing in English - "materials of Heller, Bosco, LeRoy, Goldin, Cazaneuve, Vanek, Dobler, Okito, Blitz, Dante, Herrmann, Chung Ling Soo, Thurston, Blackstone and thousands of other artists" - but it's still not clear what the "materials" are.

http://www.lobeline.com/dc-museul.htm

I don't know if it's possible to visit Copperfield's museum, or who you would have to ask, but maybe there is someone out there who could help you find what you are looking for. Good luck!
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Postby magichand » 03/06/06 03:33 PM

Thanks Edwin
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