René Walter, who runs the fabulous blog Nerdcore, has amassed an amazing collection of vintage magic posters. The ads run the gamut from stately magicians to performers touting their ties to the black arts.
It's fascinating to see the various ways magicians have advertised their stage acts. On the one hand, we get restrained, almost melancholy posters like this one:
On the other hand, you get magicians like Harry Kellar and Howard Thurston, whose ads were often filled with jovial demons, offering a cartoonish sense of evil behind his act. There's a grand promise of Vaudeville in them.
And, of course, there are the ads from the magicians who claim exotic backgrounds, bringing secrets from distant lands:
I highly recommend checking out Walter's entire collection. It's a fun tour through the past of vaudeville magic acts.