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Topic: CROTSER - anyone know anything about him?
Message: Posted by: RC (Jul 2, 2017 01:40PM)
I was recently gifted this old magic poster by an antique shop owner. He did not know any information about this magician, Crotser. I was hoping someone here may know a thing or two about him. Here's a link to the image of the poster: https://www.oldmarketmagician.com/single-post/2017/07/02/Old-Magic-Poster
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jul 2, 2017 04:58PM)
That's not an old lithograph! It's a relatively "modern" sheet.

What are the dimensions in inches?

I've been "around" for 70 years. I've never heard that name before.

Whoever he is/was, he sure picked a name!
Message: Posted by: RC (Jul 2, 2017 11:06PM)
Hi Dick! I was going to send you a personal message inquiring to see if you knew anything about Crotser. I figured if anyone would know, it'd be you, so I'm glad you saw the post! :) (I'm currently reading your book, "The Road Scholar.") Anyways, the dimensions of the poster are about 41 x 28 inches. The antique owner originally thought it to be from the 30's or 40's judging by the method used to print the poster. He said you could tell the print was done in layers of color.

I did do some digging and found some articles mentioning "Crotser." It seems they were bit of a magic family. Here's the updated post with the articles: https://www.oldmarketmagician.com/single-post/2017/07/02/Old-Magic-Poster
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jul 3, 2017 02:50AM)

Interesting! I note clips from the old "Billboard" column (Hocus Pocus/ Bill Sachs). Crotser's son, "going to Japan" sounds like WWII period, or soon after WWII.

I was just getting started then. As you've noted in the biographical section of "Road Scholar", I joined the Navy in January, 1951. I was still a part time pro. then. No TV yet, and, of course, no internet, so, chances of hearing about him, were not great. With one arm, he must have carried a lot of plywood! He preceded Rene Lavand! (one arm)

28 x 42 is "one sheet size". By the "40s" not many magic shows were using that size of paper. (Blackstone was doing USO shows in the early '40s. Harry used one sheets, when I first saw him in '45. Virgil & Birch used panels and half sheets and window cards. (I had some of Harry's, Virgil, and Birch's paper.)

I hope you're finding some material that you can use, in my book. Lemme know if it raises any questions.

From your blog, I gather that you do some busking. I did a little on the wharf in San Francisco, on weekends in the mid '80s. I was running phone rooms for Kramien. I had weekends open, and would drive down to San Fran. to see Buma Burger, so, I did a little on Fishermen's Wharf. It was fun, and interesting.

I lectured in Omaha, back in the '70s. I was touring for the old Keeler office in Kansas.

Sorry that I can't be more helpful on Crotser. I wonder if my old friend, the late Bob Lund, had anything on Crotser.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Jul 3, 2017 11:30AM)
Maybe google -Croster??? or Magician Croster - Croster Magician???
Message: Posted by: RC (Jul 3, 2017 01:15PM)

I'm really enjoying your book! Thank you for the info about the "one sheet size" poster. That helps a lot! I was originally thinking maybe this was George's son, Tom Crotser, since the poster features a man with two arms. However, it could be George if the poster dates to the early 40's or 30's. As for busking. I do perform in the Old Market in Omaha. However, I don't do much of a hat pitch. When I perform in the Old Market, it is more so just for fun. I noticed in your book, you have a few stories that mention Omaha. I just recently read the one where you had a show in Carter Lake, Iowa, but it was located on the Nebraska side of the river. I thought that was great! :D

Hi Russo,
I did use google to find the "Billboard" columns. Interestingly enough, I decided to try again and found this: http://magic-addict.com/blog/2017/07/02/old-magic-poster/
This site just took my blog without asking or giving any credit. Does anyone know anything about this site?

Message: Posted by: pooofjolly (Sep 12, 2017 10:09AM)
George and Marie Crotser did school shows throughout the midwest in the 50s (and maybe 40s). They were in my IBM ring in Tulsa OK when I joined in 61. George was not exactly one armed but he was missing his right hand and maybe forearm... he had a hinged hook appliance in its place. I know he did silks and some illusions as well as a spirit cabinet (ala Willard) with Marie, his wife. Their son, Tom also did escapes and magic. I have an old film of him doing the milk can at an Oklahoma cavalcade and I recall he did a torture cell on stage at a TAOM in the 60s or early 70s that went wrong and they tried to break the glass with fire axes to get him out... The thick plastic that had replaced the glass would not succumb to the axes, so they rocked the cell back and forth finally tipping the cell over and blowing the stocks with Tom still attached across the stage or into the audience. I wasn't present but have a newspaper clipping of the event in my scrapbook. Tom lived through that but I don't know where his life took him after that. George and Marie lived the later part of their lives in Talala, OK. The poster in question is most certainly Tom's.
Message: Posted by: pooofjolly (Sep 12, 2017 10:28AM)
I'll backtrack a bit... Tom, while at our club, spoke of taking trips to Turkey in search of the remains of Noah's Arc which he claimed to have seen. I found an article that describes his reclusive religious life after giving up magic (certainly, almost drowning on stage might make you consider a different path).
Message: Posted by: RC (Sep 12, 2017 07:45PM)
Wow, pooofjolly, thanks so much for that interesting history. Those are some really good stories!!
Message: Posted by: Geeps66 (Jan 3, 2019 02:47AM)
Just wanted to chime in on Tom Crotser. He was my mom's cousin. I never realized that my uncle Pearl and Aunt Lila went by the names of George and Marie when performing! I do know that my uncle used to scare the crap out of us kids when he would sneak up on us with his hook. My Mom said that Tom was a lot of fun until the day that one trick went bad. He went all serious and down a really different path. I have an old clipping of him hanging from a crane upside down in a straight jacket. I would love to see the film of him doing the milk can trick. Some of us younger family members thought it was the milk can trick that went south, and that uncle Pearl cut an axe into the base of it to let the water out. Most of the older family members didn't talk about it much. Tom stopped coming to family gatherings shortly afterward. It would be nice to be able to fill in some of gaps though. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: RC (Jan 18, 2019 12:07PM)
Here's a working link to the poster along with some additional info: https://www.oldmarketmagician.com/blog/vintage-magician-poster

Raelene Crotser got ahold of me and the poster is now back in family hands. :)