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Photograph

Dr. Earl Lockman

Date:  date unknown

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

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: 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

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...

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:  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: 1922 

Description: Quarter-length publicity portrait of renowned escape artist Harry Houdini.

Photograph

Mr. & Mrs. Houdini

Date: 1926 

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

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:  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: 1919 ca.

Description: Quarter-length studio portrait of the renowned escape artist Harry Houdini.

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...

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: 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 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: 1922 

Description: Harry Houdini, the well-known escape artist, was born in Budapest, Hungary and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin. At the time of his immigration his name was s...

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

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...

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...

Photograph

Off to the Trenches

Date: 1918-05-05 

Description: Send off for World War I recruits at the railroad station. The man leaning out of the train window is Ben Bergor, a professional magician and vaudeville pe...

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