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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: 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

Mr. & Mrs. Houdini

Date: 1926 

Description: Harry and Bess (Beatrice) Houdini in formal attire, the year of his death from acute appendicitis.

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

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: Harry Houdini, world famous escape artist who spent his boyhood in Appleton, Wisconsin, sitting in a chair wrapped in chains in a scene from the silent fil...

Photograph

Hypnotism Act

Date:  date unknown

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

Photograph

Houdini, Harry

Date:  date unknown

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

Date:  date unknown

Description: During his career as an entertainer and magician, Ben Bergor of Madison also booked the acts and served as master of ceremonies for many sports shows aroun...

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...

Photograph

Houdini in Chains

Date: 1919 

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

Date: 1942 

Description: Mrs. Beatrice Houdini presenting the Houdini Award Album to Ben Bergor, a Madison magician. The award was made annually by the Houdini Club of Wisconsin to...

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...

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: 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

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

Ben Bergor on Stage

Date: 1930 ca.

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

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: 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...

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...

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