Magician or Not?

Here are a number of photos that appear to be of magicians. Some are not and some I could not identify. They still have interesting stories though.

I did find this one pretty quickly. It is of American actress Lillian Russell (1861-1922) as a fortune teller for the comic opera The Tzigane (The Fortune Teller). It dates to 1895. The prop in the background is interesting. At first I thought it was a card star variant, but that is way too many cards to be practical. Now I am thinking it is just a way to display the cards, but it does look very magic prop like.

This appears to be the rescue during an underwater escape gone wrong. Actually, the woman with the axe is Evangeline the Oyster Girl, and the soaked woman is Divena the Aqua Tease. This is from a 40s burlesque act in which Evangeline was so angry at being upstaged by Divena that she smashed her glass tank. Evangeline was arrested and paid a ten dollar fine. That was the story, anyway. It was actually a staged publicity stunt.

This could be a publicity photo for a mind reading act, or not.

This is a postcard of a woman apparently doing billiard ball and card manipulation at the same time, which would be quite a feat. Clearly a staged photo, but is the woman actually a magician or just posed that way? The card fan looks a little hinky to me, not the way an actual magician would do a card fan.

Zozo was not a magician, but a popular turn of the twentieth century comic opera.

Virtually all we could find about Jada is there on her photograph. The billing makes it appear as if she is a mentalist, while remaining vague enough that we don’t know any more than that. It is an unusual photo in that she clearly has her eyes closed.

Okay, clearly a posed photo and not magic related. Still, I could see printing this out and making it look like a very old photo that predicts a chosen card, along with other old photos that predict other things. I see a magic trick in there somewhere.