Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reading queue

Editor's note -- The Boing Boing correspondent 

who filed a post reminding himself to read a book 

would not be on staff long at Flippantly Florida.

"Over at LIFE, our pal Ben Cosgrove presents a gallery of "Spooky Old Magician Posters" from the early 20th century. 
The illustration and design of these is, well, magical. It's no wonder that these posters are highly valuable. 
The art also reminds me that I have a brand new magic history book in my teetering reading queue and it looks terrific: 
Jim Steinmeyer's "The Last Greatest Magician in the World" tells the tale of Howard Thurston (1869-1936) and his rivalry with Houdini!"

 Boing Boing 
 by KarenAGardner
Early 20th century magic posters 

UPDATE: The Editor suggests to the Boing Boing correspondent that he read the Wall Street Journal's book review of same:  American Wizardry 


  1. I think I might have seen something on TV once about that rivalry. If I recall rightly, it was Houdini's showmanship that put him over the top.

  2. The Ellusionist blog has a post on this book and a video interview with Steinmeyer. It also has a link to WSJ review. It's pretty interesting ...

    "As Sullivan [WSJ] wrote, it’s clear Steinmeyer thinks Houdini won. Because, as he states in this video, Houdini didn’t really seek to be a magician. Though Houdini succeeded at becoming a legend and household name, it wasn’t for his career as a performing magician."

  3. I like the old posters. I also like reading about the freak shows from times past. The "freaks" really were not treated badly, the way the general public tends to believe. They were performers. It gave them a chance to have a job.

  4. I like the old posters too. Movies like "Elephant Man" contributed to the freak-show stereotype.


Comment moderation sometimes enabled