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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Magic Show: 1938

Magic Show: 1938

November 1938. Donaldsonville, Louisiana. "Group of people watching magician at state fair." 35mm nitrate negative by Russell Lee for the FSA. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Absolute Awe

I think the girl with folded arms is in absolute awe of our magician. What amazes me in particular though is that she looks like a younger version of the woman next to the woman in glasses. Like a mini-me expression of awe,and they both have their arms crossed.

The Magician's Art

Misdirection is the key to most magic. Keeping your audience looking away from where the actual manipulation is happening is what makes it all work. This one certainly has almost every eye glued to one spot, except for the dark haired young lady with bangs.

I wonder if she has spotted something under the backdrop, or in the wings that he does not want her to see? Perhaps when she gets home she will tell her brother, "I know how he did that trick!"

Great people picture

This picture just makes me happy -- it has adults looking like kids, kids looking like adults, and everyone showing wonder, or at least attention.

Sensory Overload

This picture just goes to show how over-stimulated we are in 2012. Look at this group--from the little babies to the older folks, every set of eyes is glued to the magician. If you took this photo nowadays, half the people would be looking elsewhere (probably down at phones), babies would be crawling up their mothers' legs, kids running away, etc.

She doesn't buy it

The girl in the checked dress with her arms folded doesn't look very impressed with said magician. Dad seems thrilled, however.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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