Carter the Great: Carter Beats the Devil
Charles Joseph Carter (June 14, 1874 - February 13, 1936) was an American stage magician, also known as Carter the Great.
A native of San Francisco, California, Carter began his career as a journalist and lawyer. As time passed, he grew an interest in magic. Due to stiff competition from the number of magic acts on the American stages at the time, Carter opted to pursue his career abroad, where he achieved his greatest fame. Among the highlights of Carter's stage performances during his career were the classic "sawing a woman in half" illusion (an elaborate surgical-themed version with "nurses" in attendance), making a live elephant disappear and "cheating the gallows", where a shrouded Carter would vanish, just as he dropped at the end of a hangman's noose.
Carter's first theatrical experience occurred at the Herzog's museum and Pat Harris' Masonic Temple in Baltimore at the age of 10, where he appeared as "Master Charles Carter the Original Boy Magician".
Carter purchased the famous Martinka Magic Palace in 1917, a time when he was unable to continue his world touring magic show. The story goes that he kept his lion, Monty in the back room of the shop and when it would roar, the startled customers would run for the door.
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