Classic magic from the early1900s will be featured in Historic Deerfield

Mass Appeal

Robert Olson will recreate the magic of 19th century magician Richard Potter in an engaging performance at the Deerfield Community Center, 16 Memorial Street, Deerfield, MA, on Thursday, December 6.

Olson uses recreated and original props, 19th century costume, and the early language that appeared in the magic books of Potter’s time to transport the audience for an evening of magic and fun. Potter first performed on his own in 1810, at the Columbian Museum in Boston. Advertised as “An Evening’s Brush to Sweep Away Care, or a Medley to Please,” the show consisted of magic with cards and coins, ribbons and boxes, and a variety of other tricks of magic from over 150 years ago. 

Olson, from Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, has spent the past 40 years studying and recreating Potter’s magic. “It began as a hobby with a Mysto Magic Set I received as a Christmas present when I was eight years old.” Olson said. “The history part came later. I began to read the 18th and 19th century magic books, the broadsides and advertisements that Potter put out; the diaries and letters from people who actually saw Potter perform. It was like he was whispering in my ear. He was the first truly successful magician born in America.”

There will be two performances on Thursday, December 6, at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 per person. Reserve your tickets online at or contact Julie Orvis at (413) 775-7179.

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