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Harry Kellar with Friend

Harry Kellar




Harry Keller (Heinrich Keller) was born on July 11, 1849 in Erie County, Pennsylvania to German immigrants Frank P Keller and Mary Elizabeth Keller.

Kellar was the best know magician of his era. Many of the early twentieth century magicians and illusions gained their love for magic from watching Kellar perform.

At age ten Kellar worked as a druggist apprentice and frequently experimented with various chemical combinations. After blowing a hole in the drug store floor young Harry quickly left town aboard a freight train and lived the life of a vagabond. During Kellar's travels he met a minister who befriended the lad and offered to pay for Harry's education if he would study for the ministries.

This was short lived however, once young Harry attended a performance of magician Isiaiah Harris Hughes known as "The Fakir of Ava". The hook was in, from that time on Kellar knew he wanted, to become a magician and perform on stage. He later told his friend Harry Houdini, "I became very restless, bought books on magic and finally left my friend and benefactor".

Kellar answered an ad place by his idol Hughes, who was seeking a magician's assistant. Harry was hired for the position and worked for Hughes several years, learning as much as he could.

Harry made several attempts to perform on his own, but each time he found that his finances fell somewhat short of his ambitions.

Harry then went to work for Erastus Davenport and William Henry Davenport, who performed a spiritualist and magic show under the name of "The Davenport Brothers and Fay (William Fay)". Harry spent several years with the troupe. Then in 1873 Harry Kellar and William Fay decided to take out out a show of their own and tour it through Central and South America.

The South America tour was very successful for Kellar and Fay so they then decided to take the show on a tour of Europe. In 1875 the team loaded their props, wardrobe and personal belongings aboard a ship and set sail for England. On a voyage their ship encountered a violent storm and the ship sank. Kellar, Fay and their entourage were save however they had lost everything and left with only the clothes on their backs. After the shipwreck Kellar and Fay parted ways.

With borrowed money Kellar rebuilt his show and continued to tour.

In 1882 while touring Australia, Harry met a young fan who came backstage to receive his autograph. Her name was Eva Lydia Medley. For the next few years the couple exchanged letters, then on November 01, 1887 in Kalamazoo, Michigan they were married.

Harry Kellar continued to tour, amazing, amusing and entertained audiences worldwide until he decided to retire and gave his farewell tour in 1908. Kellar announced at he the Ford's theatre in Baltimore that he would be naming Howard Thurston as his successor.

Harry Keller (Heinrich Keller) died March 10, 1922 in Los Angeles California he is buried at Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery.

Harry Kellar with Harry Houdini
Harry Kellar with Harry Houdini 1919
Harry Kellar Poster
The Levitation of Princess Karnac


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