8. Lantern Superstar Dons Gas Mask 2017-06-13T23:59:12+00:00

8. Superstar Performers

Superstar Burton Holmes Dons Gas Mask

Superstars like Burton Holmes rose far above amateur performers of magic lantern shows.  Holmes coined the term “travelogue” and created his shows first with slides, and later with slides and movies, eventually earning a Hollywood star.  (See some Holmes movies here.)

Holmes, who cultivated an elegant persona on stage, often appeared in the costumes of the countries he visited, or, in the case of his Victory Travelogue, in one of the gas masks worn during WWI.

By his 50th anniversary year tour in 1946, Holmes had performed before 3,000 audiences, totaling ten million people.  Superstars such as Holmes performed in large city halls, often before audiences of 2,000–3,000.  They could be paid, in today’s dollars, as much as $9,000 a lecture.

Archival Notes

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