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John Giordmaine

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John Giordmaine

Cover of Genii (May 1964)
BornGiovanni Nicola Giordmaina
September 26, 1898
DiedJanuary 19, 1974 (age 75)

John Giordmaine (1898-1974) was one of Canada's most beloved children's magician.


Born Giovanni Nicola Giordmaina in Malta, he immigrated to Canada in 1919. He started as an electrician, but went onto a successful career as a professional magician after a serious injury in an electrical accident.

He became friends with Sid Lorraine who got him to join the International Brotherhood of Magicians. He changed his name to Giordmaine to rhyme with legerdemain.

In the late 1930s, Giordmaine worked at The Arcade Magic and Novelty Shop and the T. Eaton Company of Toronto. While at Eaton's toy department during the 1940s, he developed and sold a magic kit.

He became the first magician on television in 1933 and appeared on the Howdy-Doody show, Captain Kangaroo, Paul Winchell's Circus Time. He had been described as "the world's greatest little magician artist" in an early television show for children.

Giordmaine was a guest on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1957 and played the New York World's Fair.

His Comedy Rope Trick can be found in Stewart James' Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks, Vol. 2 (1968) and his The Stamp Album: Magic Coloring Book in Tarbell Course in Magic, Volume 4.[1][2][3][4]

A 30-minute documentary film directed by York Professor Laurence Green documentary film about his life was called "Sleight of Hand".[5]


  • IBM Star of Magic Award (1963)[6]


  1. Who's Who in Magic, Sphinx, February, 1933
  2. Cover Genii 1964 May
  3. Obit Genii 1973 October
  5. Tribute site
  • John Giordmaine - "The Gay Magician" in Tops, Vol. 10, no 10, October 1945, page 4.