Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Magic Moments

The late 19th Century was a golden age for magic, as performances moved from the street into the theater. Magicians now donned formal attire, and their tricks involved the latest technology of the industrial age. The elaborate shows became a popular and respectable form of entertainment and appealed even to the upper classes.

As all of a magician’s success depends upon illusion, extensive publicity was essential to create hype for the stops of a tour and to promote the latest stunts.

Below are posters for Harry Kellar, Alexander, and Howard Thurston. Images are from the Library of Congress.

Harry Kellar

Alexander “The Man Who Knows”

Howard Thurston

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