This is the story of Alex Weyer, a magician in the Golden Age of Magic (ca. 1875–1948). He started off with a strongman act and ended up traveling the world with his magic show. He charmed the aristocracy of Europe, walked the stage of the Moulin Rouge in Paris, and entertained Australian troops in Egypt during World War I. He was billed as an American conjuror under the title The Great Alex Weyer, as the French prestidigitateur Weyer Le Mystérieux, and as a Belgian mystifier called Professeur Weyer. He was also a close friend of the most famous escape artist and magician of all time, Harry Houdini. And like Houdini, he had another name.
Alex Weyer’s real name was Jean Pierre Decker. He was born February 4, 1872, in the small town of Mondercange in the southwest of Luxembourg.
The adventures of Alex Weyer were collected from a variety of sources, including contemporary articles from magic magazines found in the Ask Alexander database, the largest online resource of information about the history of magic; online newspapers and genealogical databases; original promotional material, playbills, and other ephemera from several private collections and from a relative of the Weyer family; the National Archives in Luxembourg; and most importantly, Weyer’s letters to Harry Houdini, from 1901–1914, which are part of the Houdini collection in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas in Austin.