Scope and Contents
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 week's 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 Falcon's 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 Falcon's 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, to keep up standards, to keep the act interesting, not to use old material, and to 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 years. The act's 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.