Gas mask to Windbag

18 January 2022

During war time magic has often been used as a form of release or used to ridicule the enemy. In World War II this reversible prop turned from looking like a gas-mask into Hitler’s head. It was sold by Davenport’s magic shop in London as “It’s Sure – It’s Swift – It’s a Blitzkrieg.” Magic was also used to entertain the troops and as diversion. One American magic book, by author John Mulholland (1898-1970) was printed shirt-pocket-size so soldiers could entertain each other in the field. Paul Potassy (1923-2018), a Hungarian magician, used magic to save his life during World War II. He performed some card tricks to dissuade some Russian soldiers from killing him when they found him lying on the battle field.

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