The American Museum of Magic has a new exhibit on “the man who brought magic to Michigan,” Harry Blackstone (1885 –1965). In the 1930s and 40s, Blackstone was one of America’s biggest and most famous touring magic shows. The sheer number of trunks and crates traveling with the show filled two 45 foot boxcars. But when not on tour, the show called the tiny village of Colon, Michigan home.
“Blackstone was a huge name — he appeared on cereal boxes and bubble gum packs, he sold magic kits and books, and he even had his own comic book series.” said American Museum of Magic Director, Sara Schultz. “He could have easily decided to settle wherever he wanted, but he chose to call southwest Michigan his home.”
She added, “The museum has photos of him running a test performance of an underwater crate escape off his dock on Sturgeon Lake. Dozens of locals are in attendance. I don’t think it mattered to Blackstone whether he was performing for a theater full of people in New York or for a bunch of local villagers in their swimsuits out on the lake. He loved to perform.”
The new exhibit explores Blackstone’s life, both on tour and in Michigan. It consists of never-before-on-display artifacts from the Blackstone’s show such as his assistants’ costumes, his top hat, and a mysterious and towering “Duck Vanishing Cage.”
The exhibit is a permanent addition to the museum and can be viewed with regular museum admission.
The museum is open now until the end of November, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am- 4 pm and Sunday 12 pm- 4pm. Admission is $7 for adults, $4.50 for children ages 12 and under and free for children under age 5.
The American Museum of Magic wants to thank three individuals who stepped in to sponsor the exhibit-a wonderful anonymous donor, Mickey Blashfield, and Thomas Genova.
About the American Museum of Magic
For more than 40 years the American Museum of Magic, located in downtown Marshall, Michigan, has delighted the public with all the wonders of magic, celebrating the contributions and life stories of magicians from around the globe. It is the largest collection of magic on display anywhere in the United States and has been described by magic historians as “the Smithsonian of American magic.”
The museum was founded by magic enthusiast and collector Robert Lund, who began collecting magicians’ artifacts in the mid-1930s and never stopped until he died in 1995. Committed to Robert Lund’s desire to ensure these collections remained publicly accessible beyond his lifetime, his wife, Elaine Lund, placed the museum into the hands of a nonprofit organization which continues to grow the collection, expand education efforts, and preserve magic history.