Description: Downs, Thomas Nelson. Scrapbook of Magic Ephemera Compiled by T.N. Downs. 1890s _ 1910s. Approximately 45 folio album pages, plus approximately three-dozen pieces of loose ephemera, disbound and neatly gathered in sleeves in a modern binder. Including news cuttings, programs, contracts, broadsides, handbills, correspondence, photographs, and more, in French, German, and English, dozens of pieces annotated by Downs. Most pieces relating to Downs, with others including Harry Houdini, Imro Fox, Alexander Herrmann, and various variety show performers. Specific pieces including a color illustrated letterpress Houdini Water Torture Cell broadside, at least eight performance engagement contracts between Downs and various variety theaters, German and English broadsides for Downs, sepia-tone photos of the entrances of theaters at which Downs performed, a snapshot of Downs with family members, a signed letter of thanks and appreciation from U.S. Rep. Charles E. Littlefield (Maine), a signed letter from a representative of the United States Consulate in Nottingham, and several letters from vaudeville agencies, a pen and ink caricature drawing of Downs (artist unknown), dozens of clippings regarding DownsÍ performances annotated by the magician, and much more. A unique document of one of magicÍs greatest specialty acts.
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