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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: 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

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...

Print

Dell O'Dell

Date:  date unknown

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

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,...

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...

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...

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: 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

Ben Bergor on Stage

Date: 1930 ca.

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

Photograph

Houdini in Chains

Date: 1919 

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

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...

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

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

Houdini, Harry

Date:  date unknown

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

Date: 1892 

Description: Cover of a Swedish advertising catalog for William Deering and Company farm machinery. Features an illustration of a wizard(?) surrounded by male and femal...

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

Dr. Earl Lockman

Date:  date unknown

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

Poster

Ben Bergor Ad

Date: 1934 

Description: Advertising poster for a performance by Madison magician Ben Bergor.

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...

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