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Arthur D. Gans Magician ephemera collection

Identifier: MS 3136


The collection contains ephemera related to professional, semi-professional, and amateur magicians collected by Arthur D. Gans.


  • 1906 - 1950

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

Arthur D. Gans, 1890-1963, was an amateur magician in Baltimore, Maryland. He was extensively involved with the magician community in Maryland and frequently corresponded with fellow magicians across the United States and internationally. Gans was one of the founding members of Baltimore’s Demons Club, a magician union and social group. The society, established in 1911, hosted famous magicians and organized local performances. Gans began working at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1920 as a safety picture exhibitor. He stayed with the railroad until he retired in 1960 as the head of the public relations department’s newspaper clipping bureau. He wrote for the Baltimore American newspaper and operated three theaters and a movie supply company before joining the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.


1.0 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The documents have been arranged into 23 series based on the associated location. These items were then grouped by type and organized chronologically. Undated materials were further organized alphabetically. The collection materials generally fell into six categories: business cards, letterheads, and advertisements, individual magician ephemera, performances, magician societies, newspaper clippings, and magician supply shops.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Knopefler, February, 1989.

Related Materials

MS 2754, John Edward Stewart Papers, 1910-1933

Scope and Contents

The collection contains ephemera related to professional, semi-professional, and amateur magicians collected by Arthur D. Gans. The items were removed from the John Edward Stewart Papers, 1910-1933, MS 2754, which mainly contains the correspondence of Gans and Stewart with fellow magicians. The majority of the materials in this collection are business cards and letterheads from magicians who Gans met and corresponded with. Programs for various performances across the country and internationally are included, often times with the business card of the performer. Many different magician societies that Gans and Stewart were involved with are represented in the collection.

Guide to the Arthur D. Gans Magician ephemera collection
Under Revision
Lara Westwood
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04-07: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States