Howard Thurston (1869-1936)
looks out in a classic pose, pictured with a characteristically gracious
letter responding to a member of the local magic fraternity, inviting
him not only to attend Thurston's show, but to join Thurston on stage
and assist him.
Thurston was anointed second "Dean"
of American Magicians, by the first Dean, the legendary Harry Kellar,
when Kellar retired.
Although he was the most popular magician
in America for more than three decades, and Kellar's designated successor,
Thurston's passion seemed to lie in proving his acumen as a business-man
unrelated to conjuring.
The rather uncommon Thurston throwing card
pictured below advertises one of Thurston's novel enterprises. The "Perfect
Sleep Invention" was a miracle aid essentially consisting of a
gold nose-clip guaranteed to banish snoring. Whatever his prowess as
a businessman, Thurston was legendary at being able to scale throwing
cards, such as this one, into the far reaches of the upper balcony.
Thurston was a contemporary of Houdini's,
and this photograph of the two of them (continued)