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Photograph

Dick DeYoung

Date:  date unknown

Description: Professional magician Dick DeYoung of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on a stage with three other people. DeYoung had over five decades of experience as a club and s...

Date:  date unknown

Description: Two-sided playing card used for advertising by magician Howard Thurston (d. 1936), arguably the greatest magician of his day. The reverse side of the card...

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...

Photograph

Houdini in Chains

Date: 1919 

Description: Harry Houdini in a scene from the silent motion picture, "The Grim Game."

Photograph

Houdini Award

Date: 1941 

Description: Ben Bergor, a Madison magician, receiving the Houdini Award from the widow of Harry Houdini. Behind him is the trunk from which Bergor had escaped, and fou...

Date: 1971-04 ca.

Description: Poster featuring a skeleton on horseback, carrying a banner that reads, "Apocalypse". A skyline of Madison appears beneath, on fire, with the phrase "Heral...

Date:  date unknown

Description: Formal publicity portrait of magician Ben Bergor of Madison performing one of his sleight of hand tricks with lighted cigarettes. Bergor was billed as the...

Date:  date unknown

Description: Magicians Dave (left) and Pauline Coleman performing their famous "Hindu Torture Board" trick using an anvil on a board full of nails positioned on the abd...

Print

Dell O'Dell

Date:  date unknown

Description: Advertising brochure for Dell O'Dell, one of a few professional female magicians.

Photograph

Shriners Yule Party

Date: 1947-12-18 

Description: Fletcher Mills doing a card trick for three children, with a clown looking on, at the Madison Shriners yule party at the Washington Orthopedic School, 545...

Date: 1969-06-24 

Description: Cover of "The Kudzu", an underground newspaper, featuring a reproduction of Martin Schongauer's 15th Century engraving entitled, "Saint Anthony Tormented b...

Photograph

Mandu the Magician

Date:  date unknown

Description: Doc Mann of Beloit, Wisconsin, who performed novelty entertainment and "top hat magic" as Mandu the magician.

Historical Essay

Magician's Escape Trunk

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Escape trunk, restraining devices, and curtain used by magician Ben Bergor of Madison, Wisconsin, 1940s. (Museum objects #1982.159.17,19,21,23,25)

Photograph

Ben Bergor Escapes

Date: 1940 ca.

Description: Madison magician Ben Bergor, standing in the trunk, and his wife, Alvira, standing nearby, getting ready to perform an amazing escape act. The act had Berg...

Historical Object

Houdini Award

Date: 1941 ca.

Description: The Houdini Award, an album, presented to Madison magician Ben Bergor by the Houdini Club of Wisconsin. Because Bergor won the award three years in success...

Photograph

Dorny Dornfeld

Date: 1929 ca.

Description: Quarter-length studio portrait of Werner "Dorny" Dornfeld, a Chicago area magician who was a leader in several national organizations of magicians. The "Be...

Photograph

Ben Bergor on Stage

Date: 1930 ca.

Description: Magician Ben Bergor of Madison with the stage equipment he used for his performances.

Date:  date unknown

Description: View from window looking down at the escape act of Madison magician Ben Bergor. He is beginning to make the escape from the straightjacket while the crowd...

Morris Pratt was a well known psychic medium whose legacy is his eponymous spiritualist institution in Whitewater, known locally as "Pratt's Folly."

Date: 1905 

Description: William R. Holmes, member of the Menomonie High School class of 1905, depicted as a professional magician in front of a painted backdrop. Pictured with a m...

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