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Photograph

Sleight of Hand

Date:  date unknown

Description: Outdoor portrait of Madison magician Ben Bergor, who performed as Bennie Golden Berger during the early years of his career. He billed himself as the faste...

Photograph

Crystal Theater

Date: 1912 ca.

Description: The Crystal Theater at N. 2nd Street between W. Wisconsin Avenue and W. Wells Street.

Photograph

Ventriloguism Act

Date:  date unknown

Description: Ben Bergor, Madison magician, ventriloquist, and entertainment agent, performing with Jerry O'Reilly at a farm show. With Bergor is his wife Alva who often...

Date: 1914 

Description: Harry Houdini, born Erik Weisz in Hungary and raised as Erich Weiss in Appleton, Wisconsin, preparing to do one of his famous escapes, this time from a sub...

Date: 1931-11-27 

Description: Copy photograph of Actor Clyde Cook in costume, for the RKO Orpheum Theatre, with a signature that reads "Blosey, Chicago."

Photograph

Dorothy Jardon

Date: 1915 

Description: Half-length publicity photograph of Dorothy Jardon apparently wearing only a fur on one shoulder and many rings on her hand. Stamps on the back of the prin...

Read about the creation and early success of the famous Ringling Brothers circus founded in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Date: 1941-03-26 

Description: Portrait of the Wrights (possibly E. Henry & Evelyn M. Wright), a dance team, and their original personality masks.

Photograph

Houdini, Harry

Date:  date unknown

Description: Harry Houdini in chains and ropes. He is tied to a wheel on a locomotive.

Date: 1906 ca.

Description: Gummo (Milton Marx) on the left and on the right Groucho (Julius Henry Marx) holding a rat terrier dog. Caption from Paramount Pictures, Inc.: "THE BOY...

Date: 1950-01-07 

Description: View of a Home Talent Comedy performance by Charles C. Bradley, imitating Helen Morgan and singing to Mae Zimmerman of 311 North Frances Street. The backg...

Date: 1946-08-03 ca.

Description: Eddie Cantor applying blackface makeup in front of a triple mirror. The mirror on the left reflects the left side of his face without makeup, the center mi...

Date: 1905 ca.

Description: Comic actor Fred Stone holding the tiller of an early two-seat runabout. The automobile may be a Woods Electric or Woods Dual Power. Stone had been a circu...

Photograph

Gold Dust Twins

Date:  date unknown

Description: The Gold Dust Twins were a popular comedy-musical act that toured in the Midwest during the 1950s. The two men sang, danced, and performed banjo music, as...

Date: 1920 ca.

Description: Original caption: "Nita Naldi, the original Aphrodite girl, who will appear in a Johnny Dooley comedy at the Pantages next week." Naldi appeared in ...

Photograph

Bert Williams

Date: 1921 

Description: White Studio portrait of vaudevillian Bert Williams.

Date: 1917 

Description: Hardware store owners Louie Vanderiff (played by Clarence Kolb at left) and Mike Amsterdammer (Max Dill) pose in rough working clothes in a scene still for...

Photograph

Free Show Tonight

Date: 1930-09 ca.

Description: During the 1920s Madison magician Ben Bergor toured with various vaudeville companies. This is the setup for the Curtis Comedy Company.

Date: 1950-01-07 

Description: Committee members for the Nakoma 12th Night Party gather around a table set with candles and evergreen branches in a banquet room. They are, from left to...

The Story of Lost Bird

Discover this harrowing story that brings together a feminist pioneer and the infant her husband found in the aftermath of Wounded Knee.
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