Kellar, Harry (Heinrich Keller). Kellar. New York, Strobridge Litho. Co., ca. 1897. One-sheet (29 ½ x 39 ½") color lithographed poster depicting a dark scene with bats, a centipede, Kellar's levitation, and Kellar reading from a book while demons look over his shoulders. Minor restoration to margins, but overall good condition. Linen backed. Kellar was born in Erie, Pennsylvania on July 11, 1849, and worked steadily on every rung of the show business ladder before climbing to its pinnacle in 1896. It was in that year, with the death of Alexander Herrmann, that Kellar became the most popular magician in America. After he retired from the stage in 1908, the Society of American Magicians named Kellar the organization's first Dean. In his golden years, Kellar lived in a comfortable home in Los Angeles, spending his time tinkering with magic, and fishing off the coast of Catalina Island. He died on March 10, 1922. Kellar's posters, most of which were printed by the Strobridge Lithograph Company, set the standard for magicians. He was the first conjurer to incorporate the motif of a devil on his shoulder into a poster design, and carried the theme into most of the advertising he used throughout his career, including the example offered here.
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