Cover of Genii (1978)
|Born||Edwin John Fechter|
February 16, 1916
Buffalo New York
|Died||March 31, 1979 (age 63) |
Rosewell Park Memorial Institute, New York
Eddie Fechter (February 16, 1916 - March 31, 1979), born Edwin John in Buffalo New York, was a bar magician at his Forks Hotel restaurant outside of Buffalo. He hosted the first close-up convention known as Fetcher's Finger Flinging Frolics there in 1969. He was known as Fast Fingers Eddie and Slippery Ed to the public.
Fechter's parents moved from Straussberg, Germany to begin a new life in the United States in 1906. During the prohibition years, when Eddie was three years old, his father was operating a speakeasy, which he ran until around 1922. By 1929, his father had opened a second "establishment" called Fechter's Bar. The same year his father was shot and killed by hold-up men which catapulted a young Eddie into a career as a barkeep. With his brother Fred, he ran the business until 1931.
In 1943, Fechter joined the U.S. Army and spent most of his time stationed at Fort Mead, Maryland, working at the Special Services office. He performed his magic at a number of army posts and gave demonstrations on gambling and dice handling.
After getting out of the army, he opened Fechter's Magic Bar in Orchid Park, New York, but it only lasted a few months. He then worked as a bartender and resident magician for a V.F.W. Post in Buffalo. After saving enough money, he opened another bar called Fechter's in 1952. Then in 1958, he bought the now-famous Forks Hotel restaurant.
Fechter died of leukemia after battling it for five years.
There is a historical site marker that reads "The original site of Forks Hose Company #2 established Oct 11th 1911 and later the site of the Forks Hotel, famous for Eddie Fechter's magic.", in Cheektowaga, New York at the intersection of Broadway (New York State Route 130) and Union Road (Route 277) in Buffalo New York.
- Card Cavalcade, Vol. 1 (Chapter 2) by Jerry Mentzer (1972)
- Magician Nitely: The Magic of Eddie Fechter by Jerry Mentzer (1974)
- Eddie Fechter's Dice Holdout Methods for Magicians by Jerry Mentzer (1974)
- Fechter: The Magic of Eddie Fechter by Jerry Mentzer (1993)
- ↑ Genii 1978 May Vol. 42, No. 5, cover issue
- ↑ http://www.hmdb.org//marker.asp?marker=81420&Result=1
- The Linking Ring, Vol. 43, No. 4, April 1963, Close-up on Eddie Fechter, Close-up Expert, by Gene Gordon, page 36
- Genii Magazine, Vol. 42, No. 5, May 1978, Eddie Fechter, page 278, Fechter's Finger Flingers, by Jay Malbrough, page 281
- The Linking Ring, Vol. 58, No. 5, May 1978, OUR COVER, Eddie Fechter, by Ray Mertz, page 62
- Genii Magazines, Vol. 43, No. 5, May 1979, Obituaries, Edwin J. [Eddie] Fechter, page 339
- The Linking Ring, Vol. 59, No. 6, June 1979, Eddie Fechter, Succumbs, page 63
- The Linking Ring, Vol. 59, No. 6, June 1979, Forks Hotel on Parade, Compiled by Harry Carroll, Edited by Phil Wlllmarth, page 65
- The New Tops, Vol. 19, No. 6, June 1979, Final Curtain, Eddie Fechter, page 10