[Houdini makes spirit hands]
In this sequence of photographs Houdini demonstrated how spirit hands that appeared at seances were made by less ethereal beings. In "A magician among the spirits" Houdini described the mediumistic fraud known as "finger-printing a spirit." A mold of a dead person's hand would be carefully prepared and, during a seance with the believed relatives, fingerprints of the deceased would appear on a lampblacked ...
[Houdini and Mrs. Benninghofen, Chicago]
Mrs. Benninghofen was a reformed spirit medium who had used a trumpet in her work. In these photographs she is seen demonstrating techniques of psychic deception to Houdini. The skill of spirit mediums was fully appreciated by Houdini who included the following statement in "A magician among the spirits": "The author does not wish his readers to suppose that the mechanical sleight-of-hand tricks carried ...
American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920
This collection illustrates the vibrant and diverse forms of popular entertainment, especially vaudeville, that thrived from 1870-1920. Included are 334 English- and Yiddish-language playscripts, 146 theater playbills and programs, 61 motion pictures, 10 sound recordings and 143 photographs and 29 memorabilia items documenting the life and career of Harry Houdini. Groups of theater posters and additional sound recordings will be added to this anthology ...
Library of Congress. National Digital Library Program
The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America
See and Hear American History Through Song "Know the songs of a country and you will know its history for the true feeling of a people speaks through what they sing." – Preface to The Songs of Henry Clay Work (1884) Listen to the changes in the "Star Spangled Banner" as played by different bands in different eras. Look at the ways in which ...