Electric, Magnetic, X-Ray Acts

In the late 19th- and early 20th-Century when electricity and magnetism were to the general public still mysterious phenomena, numerous sideshows offered acts that used electricity, magnetism, ginned-up electrical devices, electric chairs, X-rays, Fluoroscopes, and supposed demonstrations of magnetism to manifest the powers of these forces on human subjects.

This included performers showing how they could harness these powerful and sometimes dangerous elements. Certain persons, according to the sideshow lecturer, are gifted (or cursed) with immunity from the dangers and vagaries of these invisible natural and fundamental forces.

In modern sideshow, still seen today, the electric chair act is common, typically demonstrating performers lighting lightbulbs and sparking flame from their fingertips, and even their tongues.

Likewise, demonstrations of electric chairs used on criminals might be displayed in Crime Shows.