The House of Deception is dedicated to the
history of the deceptive arts, including magic,
carnival sideshows, and pro wrestling.
The three crafts have many traditions and
principles in common and, in the Golden Age of
Show Business, were very much alike in practice.
A Not-For-Profit Educational Site
March 16, 2023
All Rights Reserved
Duff Johnson 2004-2023
No text or image may be copied or
reproduced without written permission.
Here is an overview of our contents:
The History of Magic (Stage Conjuring)
Magic History Books (Bibliography)
Magic History Links
Photos of Famous Golden Age Magicians, 1875-1948, including:
Fredrick Eugene Powell
T. Nelson Downs
Chung Ling Soo
Dante...and many more
An Article on Houdini's Handwriting and Collecting Houdiniana
A Tribute to James B. "Jimmy" Findlay, Renowned Collector and Historian
Magic in Works of Fine Art
Related Topic: History of Ventriloquism
The History of Pro Wrestling
Pro Wrestling History Books (Bibliography)
Pro Wrestling History Links
Cauliflower Alley Club
Sacramento Pro Wrestling History
Wrestling Promoter Roy Shire
Wrestling Announcer Hank Renner
Wrestler Gorgeous George
Wrestler and author Jack Laskin
Midget Wrestlers of the Golden Age
The History of British Pro Wrestling
Many Photos of Golden Age British Wrestlers
A Tribute to Kendo Nagasaki
Wrestling in Works of Fine Art
Contemporary Wrestler Artists
Related Topic: History of Roller Derby
The History of Carnivals and Sideshows
Todd Robbins' Primer on Sideshow History
Carnival and Sideshow History Books (Bibliography)
Carnival and Sideshow Links
Photo Gallery of Sideshow Book Covers
Sideshow Books by Categories
Sideshow Ballys and Banners
Pictures of Famous Sideshow Performers
An Article on P. T. Barnum's Handwriting and Signature
An Article on Buffalo Bill Cody's Handwriting and Signature
Carnivals and Sideshows in Fine Art
Swindles, Scams, Con Artists and Confidence Crime
Bunco, Swindles, Scams, Frauds, and Con Artist Books (Bibliography)
Photo Gallery of the Book Covers
Useful Links to Information about Frauds and Confidence Crime
Movies with Con Artist Themes
Television Shows with Con Artist Themes
Books and Short Stories with Con Artist Themes
Swindles, Scams, & Confidence Crime in Works of Fine Art
Sacramento, California USA
The House of Deception is a site for those who enjoy reading about show business.
We hope to encourage and facilitate the study of any performing art that employs
deception, including magic, pro wrestling, and sideshow. Our bibliographies and links
will guide you through a deeper appreciation of the rich traditions of deceptive
entertainment and of the performers who made the magic happen.
Our specialty is the rescue, preservation, and archiving of the physical artifacts of
those traditions: books, photos, magazines, scrapbooks, news clips, posters,
programs, letters--anything that needs and deserves special care and handling. We
love to rescue and preserve old paper from the bygone days of magic, professional
wrestling, and circus & carnival sideshows. We use archival methods recommended
by the Library of Congress.
The owner and webmaster of The House of Deception is Duff Johnson, a professional
magician with many years and a wide range of performing experience in closeup,
stage, corporate, after dinner and nightclub entertainment, as well as magic sales.
In addition, he has had a lifelong appreciation for the world of carnivals, sideshow, and
professional wrestling performance, especially with their use of crowd psychology.
He is an Adjunct Professor and Lecturer in Communication Studies at Sacramento City
College and California State University, Sacramento.
Screen Actors Guild (Eligible). Magic Collectors Association (1968-2010). Cauliflower
Alley Club (Life Member). The Invisible Lodge International (Life Member).
Sacramento Dog Training Club (Life Member). American Dove Association (since