Historical Note

Historical Background

Scope and Content

Digital Content

Terms of Access

Acquisition Info

Processing Info

Inventory   [ + ]

Subject Terms

Guide to the Prior and Norris Photograph and Ephemera Collection

Collection No.: PH0583
Title: Prior and Norris photograph and ephemera collection
Date Span: 1886-1915
Quantity: 223 photographic prints and 14 ephemeral items in 4 boxes
Languages: Collection materials are in English.
Pat Prior and Effie May Norris, n.d. Photo: Rembrandt Studio. Special Collections, UW Libraries, PAN002

Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

Pat Prior and his wife/partner Effie May Norris formed the vaudeville team of the Priors and later, with their daughter as the third member, were known as the Prior Trio. The couple spent the latter part of the 19th century and the early 20th century touring around the United States performing on the vaudeville circuits.

Historical Background

From its humble beginnings in the music hall and barroom shows of the mid 1800s, vaudeville, a collection of variety acts consisting of songs, dances, acrobatic, and other novelty performances, became one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the United States from the turn of the century until the 1930s. By 1919, there were reported to be more than 900 vaudeville theaters across the country, each playing as many as eight or nine acts per day. The industry employed thousands of individuals at any given time. For most of these performers, it was not any easy life. Poor pay, coupled with the pressures of itinerant life, produced an industry whose turnover rate was as high as 70% per year. Although the majority of these performers remained obscure, many successful comedians began their careers by playing the vaudeville circuits, including W.C. Fields, Jack Benny, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Bob Hope, and the Marx Brothers.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of three parts. The first component of the collection includes photographs and ephemera relating to the career of Pat Prior and Effie Norris, and documents their life on the road while performing on the American vaudeville circuits around the turn of the century. The second part includes photographs of vaudeville stage productions, the most significant being of Fanchon and Marco productions. The third part of the collection consists of photographs of primarily vaudeville performers and vaudeville acts of the late 1800s and early 1900, including Eddie Foy and "the world's greatest finger whistler." Many of these were friends of Prior and Norris. Also included are performer postcards, which were used for publicity.

Digital Content

View selections from the digital version of the collection.

Terms of Access

Collection is open to the public.

Acquisition Info

Source: Mark Dempsey; received June 28, 1993.

Processing Info

Separated from the Jerry Ross Collection, photograph accession 9306-20.


Box/Folder Item Date
Prior and Norris Vaudeville Troupe
1/11Pat Prior and Effie Norris   View image
2Pat Prior and Effie Norris   View image

Photographer: Rembrandt Studio, Minneapolis
1-23-5Effie Norris   View image
1/26Effie Norris   View image1899

Photographer: Burdett Studio, 1925 1st Avenue, Seattle
2 copies (1 oversized).
7-8Effie Norris   View image

Photographer: Rembrandt Studio, Minneapolis
1/39-11Effie Norris and Howard Shipman   View image
12Howard Shipman   View image
1/413-14Pat Prior   View image
1/515-16Prior, Norris and daughter   View image
17Daughter of Pat Prior and Effie Norris   View image

Photographer: The Superior, Allegheny, PA
18Prior, Norris and daughter   View image

Photographer: The Superior, Allegheny, PA
1/619Coney Island Company theatrical ticketAug. 16-23, 1908
20Effie Norris Actor's National Protective Union member's card   View image
21Pat Prior date book1899-1900
22Effie Norris bank calendar1907
23Effie Norris memorandum1910-1912
24Prior and Norris stationery
25Effie Norris brochure   View image
26Malcolm-Prior Comedy Company flier
27The Twice-a-Week Call, vol. 1, no. 30, Montgomery, WV Mar. 5, 1901
28Orpheum Theatre salary statement   View image
29"Neighbors for Twenty-Five Years" sketch   View image
30 The Family Theatre Company salary statement   View image
31 "A Rustic Reception" comedy sketch
32Prior and Norris brochure   View image

Box/Folder Item Date
Theater Companies
1/733The Giffen-Neill Company   View image1894
34Theater company posing onstage   View image

Box/Folder Item
Fanchon and Marco Productions
1/835-41Fanchon and Marco productions   View image

Photographer: Harry Wenger, L.A.
42-45Fanchon and Marco productions   View image

Box/Folder Item
Miscellaneous Stage Productions
1/946Movie still recreating vaudeville show   View image
47Vaudeville rifle act   View image

Photographer: Austin Studio, 6278 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA
48Saul Grauman Company on stage   View image
49"Picturesque ensemble scene"   View image

Box/Folder Item Date
Primarily vaudeville entertainers.
2/150Maclyn Abernathy   View image1894

Photographer: Theo C. Marceau, 826 Market Street, Phelan Bldg., San Francisco, CA
51Grace Arnold   View imageAug. 23, 1910

Photographer: Baker Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
52Little Ashley   View image
2/253Frederick Bancroft   View image

Photographer: Falk, N.Y.
2 copies.
54Nina Beason   View image1905
55Belle Bozelle   View image1900
2/356Ed Browning postcard   View imageOct. 20, 1909
57Ed Browning   View image
2/458Frantz Caesar with Helen Lewis & Company   View image
59W.J. Carleton   View image1886

Photographer: Elite, 838 Market Street, San Francisco, CA
60Cashman, St.Paul, MN   View image1910
61Tommie and Josie Chase, Butte, MT   View imageMar. 2, 1904

Photographer: Elite Studio, Butte, MT
62The Cliffords, Seattle, WA   View image1903
2/563Frederick Conger   View image1889

Photographer: Ryder, 332 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY
64Augustus Cook   View imageNov. 5, 1896

Photographer: Marceau, 826 Market Street, San Francisco, CA
65Marie Cooper, Billings, MT   View image1903
66Corinne   View image1896

Photographer: Newboy
67Cora Youngblood Corson   View imageFeb. 22, 1915

Photographer: Miller Studio, Peoria, IL
68Morell Costello   View image1900
69P. Henry Crosby   View image1906

Photographer: Baker's Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
2/670Pat Dalton and Alice Teffie   View image
71Juliette De Grignan, Chicago, IL   View image1888

Photographer: Spamer & Spier Fine Photos, 2312 Third Avenue, New York, NY
72Fred De Nor, Chicago, IL   View image1886

Photographer: Mac Millan, Prophetstown
2/773John Donohue   View image1891-1892

Photographer: Feinberg, 16 West 14th Street, New York, NY
74Marget Drew   View image

Photographer: James Bushnell, Arcade Bldg. 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA
75Robert Drociet   View imageAug. 3, 1897

Photographer: Baker, Columbus, OH
76Adele Farrington Dunn   View image1887

Photographer: Wynn & Burridge, Detroit, MI
2/877Grant and Gertie Du Vells   View image

Photographer: J.N. Krieg, Cincinnati, OH
78Gertie Du Vells   View image

Photographer: J.N. Krieg, Cincinnati, OH
79Grant Du Vells   View image

Photographer: J.N. Krieg, Cincinnati, OH
2/980Eddie   View image
81William Elmer   View image

Photographer: Martin, Chicago, IL
82Errol and Trainor, Aberdeen, WA   View imageJan. 1905
2/1083-84Edgar Ely as "The Dude," Minneapolis, MN   View image1888-1889
2/1185A. Field   View image

Photographer: Baker's Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
86A. Filmore, Louisville, KY   View image1901
87Barney First   View image
88Fannie [Flois?]   View image
2/1289Eddie Foy   View image

Photographer: Robinson & Roe Company, Chicago, IL
90Eddie Foy   View image

Photographer: Robinson & Roe Company, Chicago, IL
4/291Eddie Foy and Pat Prior   View image

Photographer: Harrison, Chicago, IL
2/1392George and Lillie Gardner   View image
93Mr. and Mrs. E. Girard   View image1900

Photographer: Baker's Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
94S.S. Goodwin, Chicago, IL   View imageSummer, 1887

Photographer: Alex Holmes, St. Paul, MN
95Irene and George Gracy1887
96"The world's greatest finger whistler"   View imageDec. 17, 1896

Photographer: Baker's Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
2/1497Frank Gates   View image
98Waldo, De Vere and Gates   View image
2/1599Lee Harrison   View image1906

Photographer: Hall
2/16100-101Baby Lillie Havre, St. Paul, MN   View image1900

Photographer: Baker's Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
2/17102Jessie Herford   View imageMay 2, 1902
103Jessie Herford
2/18104Bob and May Hewlet
2/19105Charles H. Hopper   View image1900

Photographer: Falk
106Stella Howard, Billings, MT   View image1904
2/20107Izetta Jewell   View imageMar. 21, 1908

Photographer: [Davies?]
108Frank Jones, St. Paul, MN   View image1900

Photographer: Elite-Jones & Lotz, San Francisco, CA
2/21109Sally Kearns, Chillicothe, OH   View image1898
110Sadie Kennedy, Minneapolis, MN   View image1900
111Jake Kilrain   View image

Photographer: Frank Wendt, Boonton, NJ
2/22112Frank and Bessie King   View image
113Bessie King, St. Paul, MN   View image1887
114aBessie King publicity postcard
Based on #114b.
115aBessie King as "Black Patti," publicity postcard   View image
Based on #115b.
4/3114bBessie King   View image

Photographer: Post, Denver, CO
115bBessie King as "Black Patti"

Photographer: Post, Denver, CO
116Bessie King   View image1898

Photographer: Post, Denver, CO
117Bessie King   View image

Photographer: Post, Denver, CO
2/23118Flossie La Field   View image
119La Reno, "aerial novelty contortionist"   View image

Photographer: De Haven, Chicago, IL
120Lillian Lawrence, St. Paul, MN   View image1887

Photographer: Elite-Jones & Lotz, San Francisco, CA
2/24121Marjorie Lake   View image1903
122-123Marjorie Lake   View image
2/25124-125Leonard and Phillips fliers   View image
126Henry Leving, St. Paul, MN   View image1886

Photographer: Thayer, Austin, IL
2/26127[Illegible] Lewis   View image

Photographer: Johnson, Salt Lake, UT
128Harry Lines   View image
2/27129-131Fashion photographs   View image1904

Photographer: Libby
2/28132Lolita Mather, Billings, MT   View imageNov. 21, 1903

Photographer: Britain, Kalispell, MT
133O.B. Mayer   View imageApr. 1896

Photographer: J.C. Walker, Woodstock
134McIntyre and Heath   View image

Photographer: Bushnell, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Portland
135Isabel McFadger   View image1908
136Phil McFarland   View image

Photographer: Elite, San Francisco, CA
137McSorley and Elinore, Billings, MT   View image1906
138Laura Millard, St. Paul, MN   View image1889

Photographer: Stein, Milwaukee, WI
2/29139Mary Molloy   View image

Photographer: Arax Photo Studios, Pittsfield, MA; Albany, NY; Poughkeepsie, NY; Syracuse, NY; Schenectady, NY; North Adams, MA
140Louisa Allen Morris, Chillicothe, OH   View image1900
141E.J. Mortimer   View image
142George Morton, Chicago, IL   View imageSummer, 1894

Photographer: Jos. Kirsch
2/30143Hugh Morris   View image1900
144Hugh and Alene Morris   View image1900
2/31145James Murphy   View image
2/31146The Murry Twins   View image

Photographer: Scholl Theatrical Photographer, Chicago, IL
2/32147Jon Neff   View image
148Aileen Nichols, Billings, MT   View image1903
4/4149Aileen Nichols   View image

Photographer: Tippet, Billings, MT
2/32150Nellie Nichols   View imageMar. 1910

Photographer: White
151Jennie Norelli   View imageSept. 1911

Photographer: Rood, Chicago, IL
2/33152Edmund L. O' Conner   View image
153Harry and May O'Dell   View image1888
154Sena Ownes [Owens ?], Jacksonville, FL   View image1902
2/34155William and Lillian Parrott   View image
156Jennie Pearson   View image
157Frank Pereze   View image
2 copies.
158Annie Pixley   View image

Photographer: Campbell, New York, NY
3/1159Billie and Essie Rafferty and daughter   View image
160Roland Reed   View image1894

Photographer: [Kor?], San Francisco, CA
161Charles Renwick   View image

Photographer: Shepherd Photo Company, St. Paul, MN
3/2162Denny Reno, Parkersburg, WV   View imageApr. 19, 1901
163The Three Renos   View image
3/3164-165Irene Gracie   View image
166Pug Reynolds   View image
167Pug Reynolds, Owensboro, KY   View imageJan. 1902

Photographer: Fite's, Owensboro, KY
168Pug Reynolds and Feldman   View image

Photographer: Fite's, Owensboro, KY
169Reynolds and Gracie flier: "Exponents of Ethiopian Eccentricities"   View image
3/4170Rhea as "Nell Gwynne"   View image

Photographer: Baker's Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
171Ray Richards   View image
172Pat Roberts   View image
3/5173-174Leona and Pearl Roberts   View image
175The Four Roberts   View image
4/5176The Four Roberts, San Francisco, CA   View imageSummer, 1905
3/6177Isadore Rush, Chicago, ILSummer, 1888
3/7178Alexander Salvini1900

Photographer: [Billsmeth?], Denver, CO
179The Schmaltzs   View imageNov. 10, 1895

Photographer: Feinberg, New York, NY
180Anna Scott   View image
3/8181Carrie Scott, St. Paul, MN1900
182Carrie Scott   View image
3/9183Cheridah Simpson, St. Paul, MN   View imageMay 1, 1887
184Arthur Stanford, Kansas City, MO   View imageJan. 19, 1897

Photographer: Baker's Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
185Archie Stanley   View image
4/6186Archie Stanley   View image
187Harry Steele   View image

Photographer: Peterson, New York, NY
3/10188Trixie Taylor   View image
189Mr. and Mrs. Dick Tracy   View image
3/11190The Venetian Lady Troubadours   View image

Photographer: Schumacher Photo, Los Angeles, CA
191Baby Virginia   View imageca. 1902
3/12192Walter Walker   View image

Photographer: Klein & Guttenstein, Milwaukee, WI
193Affie Warner   View image1893-1894

Photographer: Martin, Chicago, IL
194May V. Warren   View image

Photographer: Baker's Art Gallery, Columbus, OH
195Frank Weston   View image1913

Photographer: [Hans?], San Francisco, CA
3/13196Frank H. While   View image

Photographer: R. Pennie Smith, Newark, NJ; Asbury Park, NJ
197George W. Wilson as "Uncle Josh"   View image1888

Photographer: Elite, San Francisco, CA
198Julius P. Witmark, St. Paul, MN   View imageDec. 13, 1894

Photographer: Loveday & Von der Heide, Chicago, IL
3/14199-200Florence Zellar   View image
3/15201-211Portraits of unknown couples and groups   View image
3/16212-227Portraits of unknown females   View image
4/7228Woman   View image
3/17229-237Portraits of unknown males   View image

Subject Terms

Personal Names:
Foy, Eddie, 1856-1928--Photographs.
King, Bessie--Photographs.
Norris, Effie May--Photographs.
Prior, Pat--Photographs.
Fanchon & Marco--Photographs.
Prior Trio--Photographs.
Priors (Vaudeville team)--Photographs.
Burlesque (Theater)--United States.
Entertainers--United States--Photographs.
Ethnic groups--Caricatures and cartoons.
Irish Americans--Caricatures and cartoons.
Theatrical productions.
Vaudeville--United States.
Women entertainers--United States--Photographs.
Genre Headings:
Printed ephemera.
Publicity photographs.
Last modified: November 17, 2015
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