Window Displays

Of good advertising value is to make arrangements with a prominent store in the town or city where you are to play, to give you a window display. This can be arranged in such a way as not only to benefit you, but also to give you the store publicity.

Perhaps you can exhibit odd pieces of apparatus that would be of public interest, not to expose their working, but to have an interesting story around each.

In the lesson on the box for sawing a woman in half I suggested a window campaign.

There are also various mechanical devices suggestive of magic that could be used as the saw sawing a board by itself, the bottle that gives forth an endless stream of water, white paper changing to a dollar bill by running through two rollers, etc.

Tie-ups, too, can be used in store advertising. For instance, a wax figure used by store could be dressed up and given a hat to hold. From the hat could be coming a bunch of silk. Then about the window various objects that had been apparently taken from hat. A show card could say "How (Your name) takes all these objects out of a hat is magic, and the way we glean the world for things to give you service is also like magic."

A little ingenuity here will solve many problems for him who wants to be above the ordinary.


I have already discussed small posters for window cards but now let us discuss the larger ones such as are known as half sheets, one sheets, etc. These are usually hung in windows or posted on billboards, etc. about the town, by bill posters who have control of the space.

A half sheet is 21 x 28 inches in size. A one sheet is 28 x 42 inches. This type of work is usually lithographed or made in wood cuts.

There is considerable expense attached to this kind of work and it is really only adapted to the performer going at magic in a big way. With a big full evening show, this form of advertising is advisable. Thurston, Dante, Nicola, Carter, Goldin, Blackstone and others must carry extensive colored lithographic advertising to pack the theatres. They are in competition with other theatres. For instance, Thurston reports doing $29, 000 gross business during his two weeks' run in Cincinnati. That means that it requires extensive advertising to catch the eye of the public.

Should you ever put out an extensive full evening show, then you would want large posters in colors. But because of the expense you should have individual help in getting it ready. It is too big a subject to go into detail about here.

There is a type of non-pictorial half sheet that is printed from wood type and is put out quite reasonably by show printers. Sometimes this type of poster helps over an emergency. It also finds use in connection with the pictorial posters. Certain lithographic houses put out stock posters for magicians. While they treat magic in general, yet some magicians find them good business getters. The pages of Billboard magazine will give you ads of people doing this type of work.

Plate 9 shows three types of posters. The first is one of Carter's. It is very suggestive of a colossal magic show. The second, next page, is a German poster of Axel Hellstrom whose work is of a mental nature. The third, next page, is one of Dante's.

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