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Download Conjuring Science: A History of Scientific Entertainment and by Sofie Lachapelle PDF

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By Sofie Lachapelle

Conjuring technology explores the heritage of magic indicates and clinical leisure. It follows the frictions and connections of magic and technology as they happened on the planet of renowned leisure in France from the mid-eighteenth to the early 20th century. It situates conjurers in the broader tradition of technology and argues that level magic shaped an incredible renowned conduit for technology and medical enthusiasm in this interval. From the clinical recreations of the festivals to the grand illusions of the theatre degree and the advance of early cinema, conjurers used and have been encouraged via medical and technological recommendations to create illusions, impress a feeling of ask yourself, and infrequently even train their viewers. of their fingers, technological know-how took on many meanings and served assorted reasons: it was once a suite of friendly evidence and leisure demonstrations upon which to attract; it was once the information awarded in numerous clinical lectures followed by means of optical projections at magic indicates; it was once the innovations essential to create illusions and results on degree and afterward on the cinema; and it was once the way to separate conjuring from the deceit of mediums, mystical showmen and quacks in an effort to achieve a greater status inside of an more and more scientifically-minded society.

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Extra resources for Conjuring Science: A History of Scientific Entertainment and Stage Magic in Modern France

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By the second half of the century, editors devoted entire series to popular science while a new group of men (and sometimes women) were able to earn a living lecturing and writing on this popular science. Camille Flammarion (1842–1925), Louis Figuier (1819–1894), and Gaston Tissandier (1843–1899), among others, became household names in France for readers interested in the sciences. 20 As a part of this world of popular science, books of scientific amusements promoted a tactile and playful approach to scientific learning, 44 Conjuring Science typically mixing experiments and tricks.

Demonstrations of tricks were usually performed in a domestic setting. They typically involved a range of limited or detailed explanations of the trick’s properties. Amusing physics was part popular science, part Amusing and Playful Science at Home 39 teachings in the art and trade of magic, and part instructional manuals for society amusements and games. Books and boxes of the genre varied in size and addressed a broad type of audience. A particular characteristic of all types of scientific amusements, however, was their hands-on approach to science, emphasizing tactile interactions with the natural world.

Facing his audience, Robert-Houdin looked more like a respectable middle-class banker than a sorcerer, but his costume still held its secrets. 36 Likewise, his stage was organized, simple, and elegant. My stage was small and proportionate . . to the size of the room; it represented a sort of small white and gold Louis XV salon, uniquely furnished with what was indispensable to my performance. In it, we could see a table at the center, two consoles and some small pedestal tables. A shelf of a similar style reigned in all its length at the back of the stage; I put there the objects which would serve in the execution of my show.

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