Tobias Bamberg

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Tobias "Theo" Leendert Bamberg (1875 – 1963) was a professional magician. Born in Holland, Bamberg performed under the name Okito which was an anagram of Tokio (Tokyo). His father had been court magician to King William III of the Netherlands making Okito the sixth generation in a family of outstanding magicians known as the Bamberg Magical Dynasty.

Early life

As a young boy, Theo Bamberg nearly drowned while ice skating. The accident left him almost completely deaf and as a result he performed entirely in pantomime. As a young man, inspired by a performance of the great French magician, shadowist and mimic Felecien Trewey, Bamberg developed a shadowgraphy routine which he performed professionally, beginning in his early teens.

Early career

In 1893, Bamberg created his first Japanese-style act in Berlin at the age of eighteen. Success was virtually immediate, but he eventually abandoned the show to elope with the theater manager's daughter. Shortly after, his new wife convinced him to change his name from "Tobias/Toby" to "Theodore/Theo". When he returned to performing, Bamberg altered his Japanese act to become a Chinese-style act to better facilitate a new illusion he had designed. Unlike William Ellsworth Robinson who performed as Chung Ling Soo, Bamberg didn't make an attempt to hide his European identity.

February 1907 brought the birth of his son David Bamberg (who would later...
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