The battlefield was no place for pulling off bunnies from hats and some other magic tricks, so when Jasper Maskelyne from a family of magicians entered the stage of World War II, no one was certain how he could cope up with his entirely new center stage. Moreover, no one really expected that he could make use of his magic tricks and translate them for war use. But he did.

Magician Went to War

Jasper Maskelyne was born in London, England, in 1902, to a world of magic. His parents were Ada Mary Ardley and magician Nevil Maskelyne. His father was also a son of a man well-known on the British stage, John Nevil Maskelyne: the man who invented the levitation trick.

The magician Jasper Maskelyne (Jasper Maskelyne, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

It was not a surprise for Jasper to follow in his granddad and dad’s footsteps, so he also made a name for himself as a successful stage magician. In 1936, he published his book Maskelyne’s Book of Magic, where he described a range of stage tricks like sleight of hand, card, rope tricks, and illusions of “mind-reading.”

The year after, he appeared in a Pathe film titled “The Famous Illusionist,” where he performed his famous tricks of making it look like he was swallowing razor blades.