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Vintage Magic Show Posters

Although poster art is enduring, it used to be the most powerful advertising vehicle there was, especially for performers. Illusionists of the  late 19th and early 20th centuries relied heavily on their posters to impart a sense of mystery and suspense in their potential audience. Illusionists like Harry Handcuff Houdini, Howard Thurston, The Great Raymond, Alexander The Man Who Knows and George Supreme Master of Magic would plaster their sinister and foreboding posters all around town to attract audiences for their shows. Whether it was telepathy or mind reading, as practiced by Claude Alexander Conlin, or illusionists like Maurice Francois Raymond Saunders, Grover George and Howard Thurston – the King of Cards – these traveling magic shows were one of the most popular forms of entertainment for our forebears. The collection of magic show posters below are all shared via Amazing Brain’s collection, and are an excellent example of how poster art set a tone for what the audience was to expect at one of these early shows.

All images via Amazing Brian

295310263_1649c67bb5_b 294456545_d42dcd71d3_b 294453016_405e46bd0d_b 294421526_d8ed967696_o 294409484_b78249efb8_o 294401455_41e075cd57_o 294388542_734f2788af_b 293673468_3f424a48ce_o 293552009_9224996a94_o 293545534_04cb97f3d6_b 293547986_c4683c4c74_b 293550154_ce7d3d0b8c_b 293036599_e628d88040_b 293015880_f70485f79c_b 293000476_1de1418d37_b 293008357_74d4d733c7_o 293003551_d021cc62d4_o 293000989_d2799fa54d_b 293004035_162eb502e8_b 293002708_3241f8a66d_b 293000122_abe87ffec1_o 293009778_6909ba0661_b 293016624_8397815b28_b

Read more:

http://www.themagicdetective.com/2012/07/george-supreme-master-of-magic.html

http://www.themagicdetective.com/2011/01/great-raymonds-grave.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_%28magician%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Thurston

 

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Meghan

Meghan

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation webzine and clothing.