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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.

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...

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:  date unknown

Description: View from street of Madison magician Ben Bergor being raised feet first (upside down) and in a straightjacket to perform an escape act outside a LaCrosse,...

Photograph

Houdini, Harry

Date:  date unknown

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

Spirits Lead a Woman to Fortune

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

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: 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...

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)

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...

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

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...

Photograph

Hypnotism Act

Date:  date unknown

Description: Dr. Morton Greene, a graduate psychologist, performing his hypnotism act.

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

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...

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...

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...

Photograph

Legislative Party

Date: 1951-05-23 

Description: Republican Assemblyman Ray Bice of LaCrosse performs a magic trick on Democratic Assemblywoman Ruth Doyle of Madison at a cheese party for lawmakers, legis...

Date: 1920 

Description: Escape artist Harry Houdini being tortured by cannibals in the silent film "Terror Island." Like the other films in which Houdini stared, the plot was desi...

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...

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