Kellar's startling wonder, American vaudeville and popular entertainment 1870 1920
Z29087 U.S. Copyright Office
Caption: The Cassadaga propaganda.
Created and "copyright 1894 by The Strobridge Lith. Co., Cin'ti & New York."
Forms part of: Magic poster collection (Library of Congress)
Harry Kellar (July 11, 1849 – March 10, 1922) was an American magician who presented large stage shows during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Kellar was a predecessor of Harry Houdini and a successor of Robert Heller. He was often referred to as the "Dean of American Magicians" and performed extensively on five continents. One of his most memorable stage illusions was the levitation of a girl advertised as the "Levitation of Princess Karnack", which was similar to an illusion invented by John Nevil Maskelyne, from which Kellar copied by bribing one of Maskelyne's theater staff.
Harry Kellar (1849–1922) was an American magician of the late 19th and early 20th century, famous for his large stage shows during which his head seemed to float apart from his body. He performed tricks such as the “The Levitation of Princess Karnac” and “Self Decapitation”. He was hugely popular in his time, inspiring the likes of Harry Houdini, and reportedly acting as a model for the bald-headed wizard in "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" published in 1900.
The collection includes posters advertising individual plays and operettas, burlesque, vaudeville, and specialty acts, dance companies, extravaganzas produced by the Kiralfy Brothers, portraits of entertainers, and stock posters. Featured performers include Julia Arthur, De Wolfe Hopper, Joseph Hart Vaudeville Co., Thomas W. Keene, Andrew Mack, Robert B. Mantell, Mathews & Bulger, Lewis Morrison, Phil Sheridan's New City Sports Co., Royal Lilliputians, and Jennie Yeamans. Directors, managers, and producers include Edward J. Abraham, Blaney, and Vance, William A. Brady, Sidney R. Ellis, W.J. Fielding, Charles Frohman, Hoyt & McKee, the Kiralfy Brothers, Jacob Litt, Rice & Burton, Rich & Harris, A.Q. Scammon, Sam S. Schubert, Thall & Kennedy, Fred E. Wright, Charles H. Yale, and others. Playwrights include David Belasco, George H. Broadhurst, Bartley Campbell, Charles Turner Dazey, Gilbert & Sullivan, William Gillette, Seymour Hicks, David Higgins, Bronson Howard, Cecil Raleigh, William Shakespeare, Sutton Vane, and others. Plays include such popular titles as Arizona, At Piney Ridge, By the sad sea waves, Devil's auction, Evangeline, Faust, Female drummer, H.M.S. Pinafore, The hidden hand, The last of the Rohans, Ole Olson, The Queen of Chinatown, Shenandoah, Siberia, The sporting life, Uncle Tom's cabin, Venice, The war of wealth, Way down East, Yon Yonson, and others. Images depicted include scenes from plays, portraits of performers, and performers performing. Featured entertainers are not always depicted in the image. Some posters are mainly textual with peripheral images.