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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: 1937 ca.

Description: Ben Bergor, a Madison area magician (standing third from the left), with a group of Chicago area magicians. Identified individuals are (seated, left to rig...

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: 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

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...

Photograph

Joe Berg

Date:  date unknown

Description: Joe Berg, a professional magician and magic dealer, who was based in Chicago. This autographed picture was presented to Ben Bergor, a Madison area magician...

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

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 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...

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

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: 1941 

Description: This map is ink and watercolor on cardboard and shows Native American legends and villages pictorially. Trails are also shown.

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...

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

Photograph

Hypnotism Act

Date:  date unknown

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

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 Performs

Date:  date unknown

Description: Magician Ben Bergor of Madison performing a trick on stage. With him are his wife, who performed as Madame Alva, and an assistant.

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...

Date: 1950-10-20 

Description: Magician Jack Hurlbut, right, pulls a skunk out of a hat in front of Charles Copp, master of ceremonies at the Shorewood Community League's "Shindig" party...

Photograph

Dr. Earl Lockman

Date:  date unknown

Description: Dr. Earl Lockman, a well-known escape artist, and his handcuff collection.

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