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THE FALCON TRIO VAUDEVILLE COLLECTION, 1912-1931
#160

(2 cubic feet; 4 F/O)

by: Barbara Kemp & Robert S. Harding, June 1985

Biography

Edward F. Maziarz (Eddie Falcon) was born on September 12, 1891 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By the fall of 1911, he, Edward Bykowski, and Anton (Tony) Walker had begun their aerial act. From photographs, it seems they did their stunts from airplanes. Once on the vaudeville circuit, their act was done on aerial rings on stage. In their publicity, they stressed the difference between rings and the use of bars and the trapeze. Where the latter provided a foundation on which to sit or stand or rest, aerial rings required the performers to continue the routine until it was accomplished without any stalling. There was comedy throughout the six to eight minutes of the trioís performance. It is assumed that Eddie Falcon was the comic because of several of the images in which he appears.

Except for an interruption while Eddie Falcon served in the Navy (1918-1919), the group performed quite steadily from 1912 to1931. The Trio played tour circuits, such as Pantages, Keith, Lowes, Hippodrome, and state and county fairs. They had contracts with a number of booking agents to whom they paid a commission of 5%, and were solicited by other booking agents who wanted to represent them. From press write-ups and letters from their own agents and those soliciting them, it appears that the Falcon Trio had a good reputation and did not often have open dates.

Scope and Content

The Falcon Trio Vaudeville Collection consists mostly of scrapbook pages that cover the career of the Falcon Trio. Included are photographs of the Trio while performing, those probably used for publicity purposes, some personal photographs, and photographs of fellow vaudevillians. Most of the images are unidentified, but beside the Trio, there are images of other acts that were on the same circuit. The collection also includes newspaper clippings of advertisements, write-ups featuring the Trio, and of the numerous theaters where they played for up to a one week engagement. There is also correspondence between Falcon and the many booking agents who handled the act. In addition, there are railroad stubs and ephemera belonging to Ed Maziarz, mementos of the Falconís travels.

The material is not in chronological order making it difficult to compare the gains in salaries through the years, particularly from 1918 through the 1920s, and also to compare the cost of railroad travel.

Most of the contracts were between Ed Falcon, signing for the Trio, and the managers of the theaters where they performed. The terms of the contracts covered rehearsal time, publicity material the act was to provide, personal behavior, the commission percentage, billings, and length of time of performance. Some letters from the Falconís agents suggested ideas for publicity that might be utilized by the performers. One mimeographed letter from E. F. Albee (B. F. Keith circuit) to the vaudeville artists reminded them to provide good photographs, have good costumes, keep up standards, keep the act interesting, not to use old material, and keep the act fresh and clean.

Many of the contracts, in the early years especially, provided that no act could play in the same city within a year or two. The actís name may have been changed to get around these provisos.

Several letters are of special interest because they give an idea of the relationship with the booking agents and their efforts on behalf of their clients. Bookings were obtained keeping in mind that travel should be cheap and easy. Occasionally there was trouble with lost baggage. From the letterheads and from the contents of the letters, one can see the variety of specialties of the booking agents such as those only working with circuits, with fairs, or in certain geographic areas.

The collection should be of particular use to those interested in the vaudeville days and booking of acts.

Container List

Box  Folder

1

1&2

Photographs of the Falcons and fellow vaudevillians - some personal and some presumably taken for publicity - not all identified

2

1

Notebook pages of cities visited, salaries received, and business records, including expenses

2

Newspaper clippings, write-ups and newspaper advertisements for the Trio

3

Programs for shows in which the Falcon Trio performed as one of the features

3

1&2

Contracts and correspondence (including telegrams) between Ed Falcon and booking agents and theater managers

4

1&2

Contracts and correspondence with booking agents, 1921-1931

3

Loose material including membership cards in Elks, National Vaudeville Artists, Inc., American Artistís Federation, train ticket stubs, and driverís license.

O/F fldr1

Poster advertising the Trio performance at a Fair, n.d.

Barbara Kemp & Robert S. Harding, June 1985

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E-mail: archivescenter@si.edu
Revised: June 15, 2001