Blackstone, Harry (Henry Boughton). Harry Blackstone and Peter Bouton Scrapbook. Thick photo album owned and kept by Harry Blackstone, and chronicling his earliest exploits as a magician and entertainer in partnership with his brother, Peter. Over 150 images in all, many being never-before-seen candid glimpses of Blackstone’s days in vaudeville when he worked under the banner of Harry Bouton & Co., or in an act billed as “Straight and Crooked Magic.” Images show the brothers dressed to perform, Pete as a clown in white face and comic get-up, Harry in tails. Both are shown in some images posing with magic apparatus, and in one large and striking photograph, the two are among a crowd pictured with a live lioness. Other images capture the duo pointing to the show’s name in lights or posters advertising the show outside the theaters. Many of the photographs show the offstage moments of the brothers, frequently in the company of their sweethearts, while touring America before World War I. Several studio images depicting the brothers have been neatly cut-out (presumably by Blackstone), to better display their props and personages. Perhaps the earliest images show Harry standing in front of the façade of the Leikem machine and pattern making shop, one of his first jobs, which he took at the age of 16. Many images bear handwritten captions in Blackstone’s own hand, the earliest dated entry being from 1906, when Harry was only 21 years old. The bulk of the images date from 1910-12. 4to. Plain suede covers, partially disbound, contents very good. An important and singular historical document. A never-before-seen archive of Blackstone’s pre-Frederik and Blackstone life, during the time he found his feet as an entertainer, while he worked the “small time” theaters of the Midwest around his home base of Chicago. The arrangement of the images and the way Harry and Pete are displayed on the album’s pages clearly show them as (equal?) partners in the act. Later, of course, Harry took the reins and became the famous front man and star of the show. Pete became part of the corps of assistants and was the “mainspring of my watch,” according to Blackstone, but remained in the background for the most part. A detailed analysis of the scrapbook’s contents, handwritten by Blackstone biographer Daniel Waldron, accompanies the lot.