Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Man of Mystery at the Normal, 1912

This time of year 100 years ago, Normalites were treated to a bright spot in the usual semester lecture course: a magician. The lecture course was a public cultural series for students and townspeople, the latter of whom could buy a series subscription. The onetime nearby Tubal Cain Owen family (whose landholdings were eventually absorbed into the expanding campus) had one such subscription, and Tubal's daughter Abba Owen frequently went to hear the latest lecture, in the late 1800s.

Germain certainly holds no bars in his ad for himself but I have been unable to find the tiniest scrap of any documentation of any performances elsewhere, so his precise stature in the world of magic is uncertain. At any rate, here's his ad and a write-up in the January 18, 1912 Normal News.

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