Thursday, February 7, 2019

Jack W. Thomas – “The Jack Frost Sugar Magician”

More than one magician got the idea to associate himself with a product. By being connected to a given product, these magicians could often get work in a retail store, and be paid by the manufacturer of the product. The customers of the store would get to see a free magic show in return for listening to what was basically a commercial for the product. I have already done a post about Springston, “The Frigidaire Magician”. This post is about a magician from Columbus, Ohio who was known as “The Jack Frost Sugar Magician”. It appears he was particularly active in the late 1930’s and into the 1940’s. His name was Jack W. Thomas.
Newspaper ad from The Marion Star for June 30, 1939.
Jack W. Thomas had a throw-out card with an image of him pulling a rabbit out of a hat on one side, and on the other side he is advertising another business venture he was involved with. He did custom printing work, with raised printing a specialty.
Thomas was a magician, ventriloquist, and an illusionist. His ventriloquist figure was named Jerry McGuire. The ad below is for another retail store in which Thomas appeared, and ran in The Newark Advocate for June 10, 1938.
Thomas was well known on the Columbus magic scene. He performed at magic club events and several times at the annual Magi-Fest Convention held in his home city. There were a number of references to him in the magic journals of the day as well as The Billboard magazine.  He did a lot of shows around the central Ohio area, but he had to stop doing the Jack Frost Sugar shows during World War II. According to The Billboard in April of 1944, they wrote, “Jack W. Thomas, of Columbus, O., whose Jack Frost Sugar Magic Show pooped out when Uncle Sam rationed sugar in 1942, is revamping his show for a full-evening’s stint to work army bases, theaters, and private club dates within reasonable distance of the Ohio Capital.”
By 1956, Jack Thomas was retired from magic and from his printing business.  He had married for a second time after his first wife had passed away in the mid-forties. He made national news in 1952, not for being a magician, but because of a pet robin that he and his wife had taken in. The story made newspapers all over the country.
From The Montana Standard for July 27, 1952.
I guess you could say that this final story on Jack W. Thomas, “The Jack Frost Sugar Magician” was for the birds! I know, it’s a “cheep” laugh.

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