|Nothing conjures up the spirit of a magical era more than the advertising posters of the day. For magicians or just lovers of the genre, few will be able to resist owning this rare bit of old China. Available online or from selected outlets only, these beautifully produced yet practical works of art reproduce a spectacular collection of posters for one of the world’s most famous magicians - the legendary Chung Ling Soo.|
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|Chung Ling Soo was the stage name of American magician William Robinson, a New Yorker from a Scottish family who worked as a magician but also built props for other magicians like Harry Kellar, Alexander Herrmann and Adelaide Herrmann. Robinson, under the stage name Chung Ling Soo, proclaimed himself "The Original Chinese Conjurer." When the press interview him, he brought an interpreter claiming he could not to speak English, it seems all of Europe believed that he was actually Chinese.
In January of 1905, Chung Ling Soo began performing at the Hippodrome Theater in London. That same month, another magician called Ching Ling Foo opened at the Empire Theater, only 100 yards away. The two magicians also had similar posters, and both made similar claims. Ching Ling Foo sent out a challenge. It read: "I offer £1,000 if Chung Ling Soo, can do ten out of my twenty tricks, or if I fail to do any one of his feats."
The press made much of this and a date was set for the competition. Chung Ling Soo was there at the appointed time, but Ching Ling Foo never showed. "The Weekly Dispatch" wrote " Did Foo fool Soo? And can Soo sue Foo?" The public declared Chung Ling Soo the winner thereafter he would go on to tour the world with great success.