He is credited, controversially, with inventing the sawing a woman in half illusion.
He had a strong accent and a speech impediment, but he still made a good living as a salesman.
Another magician performed the woman-sawing trick a couple months before he did, but it's possible both of them learned it from the ancient Egyptians.
His family emigrated to America and settled in Nashville, Tennessee when he was sixteen.
He performed before President Woodrow Wilson.