Advertising Poster, "Thurston The Great Magician," circa 1930

Summary

In the 1920s, a friendly rivalry existed between two magicians: Howard Thurston and Harry Houdini. While Houdini distrusted and publically debunked seance mediums, Thurston was a "healthy skeptic." He acknowledged trickery among Spiritualists, yet he was cautiously open to the potential of life after death communication. Thurston's stage illusions often referenced popular supernatural phenomena of the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

In the 1920s, a friendly rivalry existed between two magicians: Howard Thurston and Harry Houdini. While Houdini distrusted and publically debunked seance mediums, Thurston was a "healthy skeptic." He acknowledged trickery among Spiritualists, yet he was cautiously open to the potential of life after death communication. Thurston's stage illusions often referenced popular supernatural phenomena of the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

Artifact

Poster

Date Made

circa 1930

Collection Title

Poster Collection 

 On Exhibit

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Object ID

93.0.53.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Paper (Fiber product)

Technique

Lithography

Color

Multicolored

Dimensions

Height: 41 in

Width: 27.813 in

Inscriptions

on front, lower half: DO THE SPIRITS COME BACK? / THURSTON / THE GREAT / MAGICIAN / THE WONDER SHOW OF THE UNIVERSE front, lower left corner: THE / OTIS / LITHOGRAPH CO. / CLEVELAND, O. / MADE IN U.S.A. / 0.656

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