1927 Magic In Schools (by Percy Abbott)

After some time in Chicago I met a couple of interesting chaps who were photographers. They were going to try out an idea of traveling through some of the smaller towns in the adjoining states, making contracts with schools for group pictures, etc. We talked the situation over and concluded that if the school could be sold on the idea of an entertainment (on percentage) to defray the cost of the photography that it made for a good combination. With my equipment and experience it was not a difficult thing for me to frame a show, an hour and a half in length, which filled the bill beautifully.

We proceeded to Indiana and although I could see the great potential of doing the entertainments in school, for this field, at that time, had barely been touched, it soon became evident to me that this combination with the photographers could not work successfully. So again, I bought a car, established myself in the small town of Fairmount, Indiana and worked alone, booking and playing the schools in that vicinity. Business was once again very good. As I have said, in those years there was little competition and the schools and smaller communities were “hungry” for entertainment. My passport and the fact that I was world traveled provided me good basic material for booking the show. I soon learned that I could play as few as two shows each week and live very comfortably. Although prices of admission were low, the crowds were large and the income good. This had been my first experience in living in a small town. I found it both interesting and relaxing, I had a large comfortable room, began to know many of the locals and soon found myself very much “at home.” I caught up on a great deal of reading during this time and had a thoroughly enjoyable existence.

A year previously while still in Chicago, at the invitation of Werner Dornfield, I attended the first IBM Convention in Kenton, Ohio. I was to meet many here that I would know and associate with through the years. So, realizing that Kenton was not a great distance from Fairmont, I decided to attend the convention there again this year of 1927.

Author: Abbotts Magic Company

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