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Minstrel Original Vintage Promo Poster Gus Sun 3 Sheet

Minstrel Original Vintage Promo Poster Gus Sun 3 Sheet

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Gus Sun American Minstrels
Original Vintage Promo Poster Lithograph Three SHeet (42x79")
Circa 1900

Printer: Erie Lithographic, Erie PA


Not just a Rare Historical piece of early American Entertainment History, but a gorgeous piece of Art & Home Décor!

Stunning artwork on this large style  late 19th/early 20th century Minstrel Poster Lithograph

* See enlargebale images above and below


Gus Sun American Minstrels (1900s). Fine on Linen. Three Sheet (42" X 79").   Printer: Eire Litho, Eire, PA.
Offered in this lot is a poster advertising Gus Sun's minstrel show, featuring comedian Ed. C. Hays. A restored poster with good color and an overall very presentable appearance. Airbrushing and touchup has addressed chips, tears, and paper loss. The borders have been replaced. 

Who is Gus Sun?

Gus Sun, a Toledo, OH native, began his career as a circus juggler in 1889 but later organized the Gus Sun American Minstrels where he toured nationally for six years. In 1906 in Springfield, OH, Gus Sun started what would become one of the best known vaudeville booking agencies and theater chains in the nation.
Some of the top entertainment acts in the world got their start with Gus Sun including Bob Hope, Eddie Cantor, W.C. Fields and The Marx Brothers. Other notable stars booked by his agency included Mae West, Al Jolson, Will Rogers and Ted Lewis.
Gun Sun was responsible for many industry firsts as he booked shows and acts for nearly four hundred theaters across the country. He was the first to book acts sight unseen, to use photographs with bookings, advertise in trade journals and to cancel an act after its first performance if not successful. He also originated the split week which allowed for two different acts to perform in small towns that could otherwise not support full week-long engagements.
The advent of the talkies in the late 1920s marked the eventual decline of vaudeville and the Gus Sun Booking Agency but he continued to book acts for radio, nightclubs, fairs and amusement parks until the 1950s.

The mural, first and foremost, pays tribute to Gustave (Gus) Ferdinand Sun, who was born in my hometown of Toledo in 1868, and rose to fame as the premier small town vaudeville king in the early 1900s.  For those not familiar with vaudeville, it was a live, variety act performance entertainment held in theaters in the late 1800s until about 1930, when most theaters were wired for sound (motion picture talkies were introduced in 1926).  Movies took over the entertainment industry both in terms of popularity and profit.

Prior to that, vaudeville was a main form of people’s entertainment.  What Gus Sun did was make it possible for the art form to be affordable (shows in NY charged a $1, whereas a Gus Sun show never charged over 25 cents) and available in smaller rural towns.  Sun started off in 1889 as a juggler, eventually performing in a Sun family circus, which he sold out of and started his own touring act, the Gus Sun Rising Minstrels in 1896.  When he came across “dime vaudeville”  in Sacramento, California right after the turn of the century, he decided to open the first “family theaters” in the country (the Orpheum) in Springfield, Ohio in 1904. 

Sun’s rise to rule the common vaudeville circuit in the US

The next year he opened another and by 1907 he had 10 theaters.  The problem was, he was running out of acts to fill them.  So, he started a booking company, and when other small Midwest theater operators heard about it, they signed on, taking it to 100 theaters immediately.  At its peak, the Gus Sun Booking Agency was booking a thousand acts into 300 theaters from coast to coast.  The big boys in New York and Chicago tried to crush him, but they couldn’t compete with his cost, his logistics (he invented the half-week or “split week” concept, which let acts rotate to different venues to keep the content fresh), and the quality of his acts (many great acts like Bob Hope and Groucho Marx got their start with Sun because of his reach and the promise of steady work.).

Ed C, Hays:
Not much is known about this black face actor.  The below link is all I could find:

Printer: Erie Lithographic, Erie PA
Erie made many Circus Posters in the late 19tn and early 20th century. 

Note:  Cvtreasures stamp not on original

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