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Gilles-Edme Guyot

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Gilles-Edme Guyot
CategoriesBooks by Gilles-Edme Guyot

Gilles-Edme Guyot (1706-1786) was a French physician, postmaster, cartographer, inventor and author on the subject of mathematics, physics and magic. He experimented with optical illusions and with the theory behind performance magic. His developments into the apparent appearance of ghosts, using the projection of a figure into smoke, helped to create the technology and techniques used in phantasmagoria. He wrote Nouvelles Récréations mathématiques et physiques in 1769, considered by many as the third most important book on magic in French.


Guyot's four part book Nouvelles recreations physiques et mathematiques featured descriptions of experiments and examples of how various innovative mathematical and magical tricks could be performed. The book was first published in 1769 and included an explanation of the missing square puzzle, building on the earlier work of Sebastiano Serlio. It also includes detailed, illustrated techniques for the performance of the cups and balls trick that is regarded as being greatly influential.

The book was translated into English by William Hooper, being released in 1774 without credit to Guyot.

Guyot experimented with the projection of ghosts onto smoke (Phantasmagoria).[1]


  • Nouvelles Récréations mathématiques et physiques (1769)


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